Power cuts loom as Eskom battles to recoup debt

File: The parastatal plans to shut off power to municipalities and thousands of households to recover R11-billion it's owed. Photo: eNCA/Benita Enoch

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says state capture is to blame for its financial mess.

The power utility has cash reserves of far less than the R20-billion it needs to remain operational, but denies that it's nearly insolvent.

The parastatal plans to shut off power to municipalities and thousands of households to recover R11-billion it's owed.

Eskom, however, denies it's completely broke and will seek a bail-out.

READ: Eskom not insolvent but facing cashflow trouble: report

Finweek and EE Publishers have now revealed details of a letter Eskom sent to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, essentially admitting that it has a fraction of the cash it needs to stay afloat.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the issue of corporate governance is a very serious one for Eskom.

"It’s for lack of a better word, stifling our ability as a company to go out and borrow money from the financial institutions because none of them want to deal with us at this stage, at least until the issues that have been devilling the company have been adequately addressed.”

Phasiwe says Eskom will continue to fight for a 20 percent electricity price tariff increase from the National Energy Regulator (Nersa).

But with claims of rampant looting still swirling around it, it remains uncertain if Nersa will agree to that hike.

eNCA

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