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Busa demands time frame on plans for Eskom from Ramaphosa

In his Sona, the president said Eskom would get a new CEO and chief restructuring officer soon without setting government a deadline.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to set clear time frames for his plans for the troubled power utility Eskom.

In his State of the Nation Address, the president said Eskom would get a new CEO and chief restructuring officer soon without setting government a deadline.

He further emphasised the importance of Eskom, adding that load shedding was among reasons for the country’s lacklustre economic performance.

Busa’s interim CEO Cas Coovadia said, “What the president should have said in addition to all of this is announcing time frames for some of the critical things to be done.”

RAMAPHOSA'S BIG ESKOM PLAN - AND THE BIG PRICE TAG IT COMES WITH

Eskom is set to receive further funding from government through an urgent Special Appropriation Bill that will be tabled in Parliament. The bill is expected "to allocate a significant portion of the R230 billion fiscal support that Eskom will require over the next 10 years in the early years".

The president said this plan was in line with the recommendations of both the Eskom Sustainability Task Team and the Technical Review Team, which were appointed by government to assist the debt laden power producer.

The severity of the problems at Eskom was highlighted by the president.

In his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that Eskom would be allocated a R69 billion financial support package over the next three years by National Treasury to help it service its debts. However, Mboweni made sure to clarify that the package wasn’t a bailout from government.

Ramaphosa said this committed funding ensured that Eskom had sufficient cash to meet its obligations until the end of October 2019. He said Mboweni would further elaborate on the details of the Special Appropriation Bill in due course.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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