JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s state-run power utility Eskom said on Wednesday it has signed a 20 billion rand ($2 billion) short-term credit facility with a consortium of seven local and international banks.

“The funding provides Eskom with sufficient liquidity to allow the company time to continue resolving its governance related issues and enables Eskom to recommence with its normal funding program required to execute the FY 2018/19 funding plans,” acting Chief Financial Officer Calib Cassim said in a statement, referring to the utility’s current financial year.

Earlier today, Eskom received a lower credit rating of ‘CCC+’ by S&P Global Ratings.

In a media statement, S&P stated that the downgrade was due to liquidity concerns and insufficient government support. 

“Eskom remains at risk of facing a distressed exchange situation or default in the next six months despite securing R30 billion in short-term funding from local and international funders so far this year.

“We now believe there is a lower likelihood that Eskom would receive extraordinary support from the government, reflecting our view that government support for the utility over the past few months has been insufficient given that the utility’s liquidity concerns persist,” the group said in a statement.

- REUTERS / BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE