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Mboweni: Eskom bailout will impact taxpayers, fiscus

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that tax revenue could be significantly lower than projected in his February Budget.

FILE: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Eskom’s R59 billion bailout will cost the fiscus and taxpayers, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has warned.

He said that tax revenue could be significantly lower than projected in his February Budget.

Moboweni on Tuesday tabled the Special Appropriations Bill in Parliament, which will provide for R26 billion for Eskom for the rest of this financial year and R33 billion over the next year.

The Bill will now be sent to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations for consideration.

Tito Mboweni made no bones about the impact on taxpayers and the fiscus of Eskom’s R59 billion bailout and signaled more bad news was on the way.

"There is also a preliminary indication that tax revenue could be significantly lower than budgeted for in the 2019/20 Budget. This could substantially increase the government’s borrowing requirement for 2019/20 which will require government to revise its funding strategy and current weekly bond issuance at levels beyond what we’d planned."

The Appropriations Bill, approved by the National Assembly yesterday, provides for more cash for ailing SOEs such as SAA, Denel and R3.2 billion for the SABC. It must still be approved by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The opposition DA’s Geordin Hill-Lewis said that deep cuts to fund the bailouts would hurt the poor.

"It is a bailout budget and the poor are doing all of the bailing out."

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