South Africa’s energy regulator failed to assure a stable pricing path for electricity and is partly to blame for energy provider Eskom’s troubles, say the writers. Reuters African News Agency (ANA)

PORT ELIZABETH - Fitch Ratings has announced its decision to affirm Eskom long-term local currency issuer default rating (IDR) of 'BB-', with a negative outlook, Eskom said in a statement on Monday. 

Fitch has simultaneously maintained the national long-term rating at 'A(zaf)' and the national short-term rating at ‘F1(zaf)', the statement said.  

The rating agency has also affirmed the government-guaranteed local currency senior unsecured debt ratings at 'BB+', in line with the rating of South Africa (BB+/Stable Outlook). 

In their ratings publication, Fitch acknowledges that while Eskom is still faced with financial and operational challenges; the rating agency views the explicit government support for the company as positive and a mitigant to Eskom’s liquidity challenges, Eskom said. 

Eskom’s Acting Group Chief Executive, Jabu Mabuza said: “We continue to engage with our shareholder ministries on feasible options to transition Eskom to financial sustainability. 

"We are grateful for the support that we’ve received from the shareholder ministries and all key stakeholders including our employees in our endeavour to steer this company towards the desired financial and operational sustainability. 

"We are not complacent and we are aware of how vital Eskom is to ensuring that South Africa’s economic growth targets are achieved, and ensuring security of supply remains one of our key priorities. 

"We know what needs to be done and our focus is on how we, together with our key stakeholders and shareholder, can execute our plans.” 

African News Agency (ANA)