We can’t throw money at Eskom: Mboweni

Headquarters of Eskom, Megawatt park, north of Johannesburg. Eskom generates approximately 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 45% of the electricity used in Africa.

JOHANNESBURG – Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is cracking the whip on Eskom.

Mboweni says any extra cash given to the power utility will be considered loans, and not spending money.

“Going forward, new cash flow support will no longer be equity but will be in the form of loans.”

The minister says Eskom is the country’s single-biggest money waster.The power utility is set to get around R230-billion from government over the next 10 years.

“We cannot continue to throw money at Eskom. For the sizeable support required, it cannot be business as usual,” said Mboweni.

Mboweni said Eskom should improve its cash flow and fast track the process of unbundling.“Once I am convinced that the Eskom Board and Management has made an irrevocable commitment to implement government’s decisions and there is enough progress, we will negotiate the appropriate size of debt relief,” added Mboweni.

Treasury has already approved a bailout of R59-billion to the ailing Eskom over the next two years.