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Unbundling Eskom an excellent idea, says AfDB head Adesina

African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina said that unbundling Eskom was a good strategy that would make the struggling utility profitable.

FILE: President of the African Development Bank Group Akinwumi Adesina speaks during the 2019 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on 24 September 2019 in New York City. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina said that unbundling Eskom was a good strategy that would make the struggling utility profitable.

Adesina has convened the second Africa Investment Forum in Sandton that has brought together investors and development finance institutions from 109 countries.

He said that the bank would not pump any more money into Eskom but believed unbundling the utility was an excellent idea.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame as well as Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo were representing countries that had scored major infrastructure deals at this year’s forum.

But the question on many South African minds was: Will the ailing driver of the economy Eskom get any more funding from this forum to fix its crippling problems?

African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina: "We have invested $4 billion in Eskom and the issue for us, as the African Development Bank, is not about financing more Eskom but about supporting the government of South Africa effort to make sure Eskom is better managed and in my view, the possibility of unbundling Eskom is an excellent idea."

Adesina agreed that Eskom was too big to fail, especially as it supported the energy needs of other countries outside South Africa.

But he said the bank would now focus on efforts to make the utility more efficient and supported its unbundling.

Adesina said the bank would also support efforts by Eskom to generate renewable energy.

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