Auditors: Eskom faces debt repayments of R152 billion

The power utility’s external auditors SizweNtsalubaGobodo, Grant Thornton, and the Auditor General on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s finance watchdog Scopa about its audit outcomes for 2020/21.

FILE: Delays to get approval from Treasury was one of the reasons for the irregular expenditure. Picture: Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom auditors say the company’s financial position and ability to raise funds remained at risk as it faced billions in debt repayments.

The company has also incurred R14 billion in irregular expenditure.

The power utility’s external auditors SizweNtsalubaGobodo, Grant Thornton, and the Auditor General on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s finance watchdog Scopa about its audit outcomes for 2020/21.

Eskom’s external auditors told Scopa that Eskom faced debt repayments of R152 billion and interest repayments of R125 billion over the next five years.

Auditor Siyakhula Vilakazi said it was not clear how the debt would be repaid.

“I think it’s very important going forward to get a clear plan when engagement is done with Eskom to hear how are these monies going to be repaid.”

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He has also noted that that there was insufficient audit evidence that appropriate disciplinary steps were taken against officials who had incurred irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

He said irregular expenditure incurred previously increased by R3 billion to R14 billion.

Delays to get approval from Treasury was one of the reasons for the irregular expenditure.

Eskom, which is currently implementing stage 3 load shedding, is expected to appear before Parliament in the coming days.

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SOME MUNICIPALITIES NOT COMPLYING TO LOAD SHEDDING

Eskom said it was talking to some municipalities that had not been complying with load shedding directives.

The power utility said letters had been drafted to all the affected municipalities and some industrial customers to correct the situation.

CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Tuesday that some municipalities had ignored the directive to load shed and this had contributed to stage four.

Eskom group executive for distribution Monde Bala said only two municipalities had complied in implementing load shedding correctly.

He said the power utility was continuing its investigation.

Bala said they had notified all their customers who did not fully comply.

He said in the event where they did not see a drop in the load, local teams would have to switch off power.