Economists concerned about Godongwana's approach to SOEs in Budget

Developmental economist, Ndumiso Hadebe, has pointed out the silence on how to address the ailing state-owned entities, while chief economist at IQ Business, Sifiso Skenjana, wanted to hear more about the plan to deal with Eskom’s debt.

Eskom Megawatt Park. Picture Xanderleigh Dookey-Makhaza/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Economists have expressed concern about Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s approach to state-owned entities, such as Eskom, in his budget.

To date, Eskom has been provided with R136 billion to pay off its debt until the 2025/26 financial year.

This remains a concern to the fiscus.

The National Treasury said that it was working on a sustainable solution to deal with Eskom’s debt in a way that was equitable and fair to all stakeholders.

But chief economist at IQ Business, Sifiso Skenjana, wanted to hear more.

"The minister alluded to the fact that there is a component to the debt at Eskom that will be capitalised by government and in essence, it's debt that they don't think Eskom has capacity to pay back. We don't know how much that is," Skenjana said.

Developmental economist, Ndumiso Hadebe, has pointed out the silence on how to address the ailing state-owned entities.

"What was quite notable was the muted nature in respect of allocations to state-owned enterprises and the anticipation of seeing the framework that will be used going forward in terms of conditional grants or conditional transfers to state-owned enterprises," Hadebe said.

Treasury said that it expected Eskom to take further steps towards cost containment, to conclude the sale of assets and to implement operational improvements to enhance the reliability of electricity supply.

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