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Gordhan: Eskom not about to collapse

At the weekend, it emerged that the government rushed to make R5 billion available to the cash-strapped utility much earlier than expected.

Eskom's Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Public Enterprises Ministry and the Treasury say the financial and operational damage done to Eskom is huge but insist that things are under control and the utility is not on the brink of collapse.

At the weekend, it emerged that the government rushed to make R5 billion available to the cash-strapped utility much earlier than expected.

In February, the government promised the parastatal a R23 billion a year bailout over the next three years but it only expected to start receiving funds from August.

Last month, Eskom was forced to turn to the government for an emergency bailout after failing to secure an R7 billion loan from the China Development Bank.

Meanwhile, Minister Pravin Gordhan agrees: “We have the problem well under control. We understand what are the changes that need to be made. Eskom is not about to collapse. That it is in difficulty as a consequence of previous leadership we had before, and among those difficulties, are the operational difficulties, meaning providing enough energy.”

In an attempt to stabilise the power utility, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last year that Eskom would be split into three parts.

Speculation is rife that outgoing Absa CEO Maria Ramos is being considered to oversee the split after the Sunday Times reported two days ago that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni wanted her to head this crucial process.

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