South Africa Brings Forward Eskom Bailout to Avert Default

South Africa’s government has had to bring forward the bailout of state power firm Eskom, after it rushed 5 billion rand ($355 million) to the struggling utility earlier this month to avert a default and said more cash could be needed soon, Reuters reported. Eskom supplies more than 90 percent of electricity in Africa’s most advanced economy but is grappling with cashflow problems and a debt mountain which it is struggling to service. The government in February promised Eskom a 23 billion rand a year bailout over the next three years, but it only expected to start giving the cash-strapped utility the first tranche of funds between August and October this year. But by the end of March, Eskom was experiencing difficulties raising funding, according to a finance ministry report to parliament seen by Reuters, prompting Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to authorise the cash transfer on April 2. Read more