Eskom bailout not the answer: Finance Minister

 ·12 Jan 2015
Nhlanhla Nene

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says Eskom must sort out its problems because they are hurting the economy, according to Monday’s Business Report.

Nene told the publication government was not able to help Eskom with day-to-day and operational issues, as it was best suited to deal with these itself.

Nene reportedly said government would do its part, but bailing the utility out would be inappropriate.

“It’s not about the bailout. It doesn’t help to always bail out. The issue here is to ensure that there is [a] medium to long-term plan to ensure that Eskom is in a good situation,” he was quoted as saying.

Nene’s department would wait for Eskom to formally approach it for help.

“If Eskom says it’s only left with the money to sustain it for 21 days, what does that mean? Does it mean it has not been generating profit through electricity sales? Eskom is in business, making and losing money,” he told the newspaper.

On Friday, Eskom confirmed its financial issues were partly responsible for the country’s rolling blackouts.

Spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said government had indicated it would provide Eskom with R20 billion, but that this was not enough.

On Friday, the Mail&Guardian quoted Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown saying the parastatal would run out of money by the end of January.

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