S. Africa Sets Deadline to Revamp $26 Billion of Eskom Debt

Enter a keyword
South Africa’s government plans to restructure state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s debt before elections in 2024, and will only provide additional support if the company sells assets and cuts jobs, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said, Bloomberg News reported. Eskom, which supplies almost all of South Africa’s power, has 392 billion rand ($26 billion) of debt. The utility has said the liabilities need to be cut to 200 billion rand for it to be sustainable and accept support pledged by rich nations to help reduce South Africa’s dependence on coal and cut carbon emissions. While local authorities are discussing whether the state should assume all or part of its debt, government support hinges on Eskom getting its “house in order,” Godongwana said on Wednesday in an interview in Cape Town. The company has got “10,000 people in the system that they don’t need” and it needs to sell some of its coal-fired power plants and its mortgage book, he said. “After that, I become the last resort -- I’m not saying I’m not going to help them,” the minister said. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government has been promising since 2018 that it will come up with a plan to deal with Eskom’s debt. Ramaphosa’s mandate ends in 2024, when the country holds its next presidential elections. Read more.