JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s National Treasury said on Friday it is working to accelerate plans to restructure ailing power utility Eskom after ratings agency Fitch opted to keep the sovereign credit rating on hold, with a negative outlook.
“National Treasury, in partnership with the Department of Public Enterprises, is instituting a series of measures to bring discipline to the utility’s finances, and to step up the timeline for restructuring,” it said in a statement responding to Fitch’s decision.
Fitch warned on Wednesday failure to form a credible plan to stabilise government debt - exacerbated by bailouts for troubled state run firms like Eskom - could prompt a downgrade, and it is regularly cited as one of the key risks to South Africa’s economy.
Despite a constrained and vulnerable system, Eskom said it expected no loadshedding on Friday as the holiday period brought a drop in demand.
The power utility said they have also seen a return of some generating units.
"Eskom will continue to use emergency reserves to supplement capacity if necessary over this period. We, however, remind customers that as the system continues to be vulnerable and unpredictable, the possibility of loadshedding remains," Eskom said.
"Breakdowns (UCLF) are at 13,154MW as at 6.30am this morning. Our technical teams will continue to work over the holiday period to monitor the situation, carry out planned maintenance and to work at reducing unplanned breakdowns to below 9,500MW to enable us to minimise the possibility of loadshedding."
The power utility appealed to people to continue to reduce their demand.
REUTERS / ANA