JOHANNESBURG – Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday threw down the gauntlet on trade unions, insisting on private sector participation in the planned reconfiguration of Eskom as a major condition for continued government bailouts.
Mbweni said while the government would shore up Eskom’s balance sheet with R69 billion, it would not take on Eskom’s debt as it was the responsibility of the utility to repay it.
“The fiscal support is conditional on an independent chief reorganisation officer being jointly appointed by the ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises (Pravin Gordhan), with the explicit mandate of delivering on the recommendations of the Presidential Task Team. We will make announces in this regard in the coming weeks.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a major policy shift this month unveiling plans to break up the utility into three entities responsible for generation, distribution and transmission housed under Eskom Holdings.
The utility took the largest portion of the government's proposed reprioritised spending of R75.3bn over the medium-term, with the remaining R5bn set aside for the infrastructure fund and R1bn for the 2021 Census.