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DA’s Alf Lees says Eskom is on the brink of collapse

The DA MP says Eskom’s money problems are worsening each day and the government's turnaround strategy for the power utility is not working.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Alf Lees says the emergency bailout by the government of R17.6 billion to Eskom shows that power utility is in a financial crisis.

On Friday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni revealed to Parliament that the situation after China Development Bank failed to release an amount of R7 billion from a loan the bank and Eskom concluded in 2018.

Lees says Eskom is on the brink of collapse.

Mboweni told Parliament that the funds from the China Development Bank did not arrive on time due to the SA Reserve Bank’s exchange control requirements.

This meant that Eskom, at the last minute, needed to secure the money in order to pay its bills until the end of March.

Lees says this latest debacle shows that the power utility and National Treasury are overwhelmed.

“The [Eskom] crisis indicates that the R23 billion is not going to be enough whether the funds from a Chinese bank will be enough is really doubtful at this stage. There’s some doubt now that the Chinese bank will make the funds available.”

Lees says Eskom’s money problems are worsening each day and the government's turnaround strategy for the power utility is not working.

Eskom has not yet responded to Eyewitness News’s requests for comment.

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