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De Ruyter sets objectives for Eskom to be self-sustaining business

The power utility has been dependent on government guarantees for years now to keep up with its operations, as it struggles with a R450 billion debt bill.

FILE: Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter at a briefing on 31 January 2020. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said that while the company’s restructuring process was under way, they were still working on its independent financial sustainability.

The power utility has been dependent on government guarantees for years now to keep up with its operations, as it struggles with a R450 billion debt bill.

De Ruyter said that the company was now pursuing a R200 billion debt balance, proposing several measures to achieve this.

The Eskom head said that it would take a mix of solutions to address power utility’s financial struggles.

In a virtual systems status update briefing, he explained that the company would have to eliminate loadshedding, resolve its disputes with energy regulator Nersa, cut costs and convert energy as efficiently as possible.

"Those are the parameters within which Eskom will be a financially viable self-sustaining business without any further requirement for equity injections or support from the fiscus. We aim to achieve those objectives."

De Ruyter further stated that Eskom was exploring selling off some of its non-core assets such as its finance corporation.

The proceeds from these transactions will be channeled to its debt repayments.

Eskom is also talking to international lenders about longer payment terms as part of its debt service cost renegotiations.

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