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Eskom debt still hovering around R454bn – Mabuza

The power utility’s board chairperson said they expected to report a similar full-year loss this year as the one recorded in 2018.

A YouTube screengrab of Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza at the announcement of the power utility’s interim financial results on 28 November 2019.

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza on Thursday said the power utility’s debt still stood at roughly R454 billion.

Mabuza was speaking at the release of the company’s results. He said Eskom expected to report a similar full-year loss this year as the one recorded in 2018.

Mabuza said Eskom secured 64% of the funding it needed for next year, but would still rely on government support to maintain a positive cash balance by next March.

“It is against this background that while a net profit of R1.3 billion was realised for the period ending 30 September, a R20 billion loss is projected by year-end. Our overall interim performance remains unfavourable as we continue to face operational and financial challenges,” he said.

**MUNICIPALITIES OWING ESKOM **

At the same time, Mabuza said the debt by deflating municipalities continued to rise and put a massive financial burden on the power utility.

Eskom threatened to cut power to three municipalities in Bloemfontein next week over their failure to settle their bills. President Cyril Ramaphosa recently called on all citizens to cough up so the cash strapped state-owned enterprise could service its debt.

Mabuza said everyone should pay for power.

“While the focus has been on non-paying municipalities, the payment levels of a number of municipalities including those who are servicing their debt is not satisfactory. The payment rate by municipalities, excluding metros, on amounts billed is 78%,” he said.

WATCH: Eskom announces its interim financial results

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