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Strict conditions set before Eskom gets a R59bn boost

Treasury officials on Wednesday detailed a raft of conditions the debt-ridden power utility must meet at a joint meeting of Parliament’s standing and select committees on appropriations, which are considering the bill.

FILE: Chief among the long list of conditions is that Eskom may only use the R59 billion bailout to settle its debt and interest payments. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The R59 billion Eskom is set to get once the Special Appropriation Bill is signed into law will not be a blank cheque, Parliament heard on Wednesday.

Treasury officials detailed a raft of conditions the debt-ridden power utility must meet at a joint meeting of Parliament’s standing and select committees on appropriations, which are considering the bill.

The bill provides for Eskom to get R26 billion for the rest of this year and R33 billion for the next financial year.

Chief among the long list of conditions is that Eskom may only use the R59 billion bailout to settle its debt and interest payments.

The power utility is sitting on R440 billion in debt and while crucial to the economy, its precarious financial situation also poses huge economic risk.

It will have to submit detailed daily reports on its liquidity, while Treasury also wants monthly management reports and to be informed should there be any deviations from the annual budget that are higher than R100 million during the month.

The aim is to ensure much tighter control over Eskom’s debt management.

The Department of Public Enterprises must also meet Treasury conditions, including the appointment of a permanent CEO no later than a month after the Special Appropriation Bill is enacted and beefing up the board by the end of the year.

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