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Eskom's R59bn bailout closer after Special Appropriation Bill passed

The Bill must now be approved by the National Council of Provinces before it can be signed into law by the president.

Parliament

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly has passed the Special Appropriation Bill, which aims to provide Eskom with a R59 billion bailout for the rest of this year and the next financial year.

The Bill must now be approved by the National Council of Provinces before it can be signed into law by the President.

Debate on the bill saw opposition parties blame the ANC for state Eskom finds itself in, with some, like the EFF and the Freedom Front Plus, saying they could not support it.

Wrapping up the debate, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told the House that Eskom’s problems were not just financial.

"One of the key issues that we need to solve is by appointing the correct people to run Eskom. That’s what we need to do. We must appoint the correct board of directors, we must appoint a competent management team and we must then be in a position to hold the board of directors and the management team accountable for the operations of Eskom."

Mboweni said that Eskom’s problems are many and complex.

"The problem at Eskom is not just financial and if we’re going to reduce a complex problem to the lowest common multiplier, being the financial problem, we’re not solving the problem. We need to approach solutions to Eskom via complex theory – understand the complexity of the institution we’re dealing with, to come up with complex solutions."

The Bill passed with 200 votes in favour and 105 against. There were no abstentions.