The debate over the restructuring of Eskom appears to be far from over, with Cosatu to meet to discuss the issue and many others affecting the trade union federation. Picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings
Cape Town - The debate over the restructuring of Eskom appears to be far from over, with Cosatu to meet to discuss the issue and many others affecting the trade union federation.

Cosatu’s three-day central executive committee meeting, which starts on Monday, comes after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni confirmed in his Budget speech in Parliament that a chief reorganisation officer would be appointed to oversee Eskom.

This comes after Mboweni said any state-owned entity that received a cash injection from the government would be monitored and the government would appoint a chief reorganisation officer.

Mboweni said a chief reorganisation officer was like a curator who would take over the running of the business. He said the chief reorganisation officer would oversee the operations and financial framework of an entity.

The finance minister described the chief reorganisation officer as the eyes and ears of the government at the power utility.

Mboweni was clear that it would not only be Eskom that would get a chief reorganisation officer.

He said the SABC had requested R6.8 billion. The government would help the public broadcaster, but it would send a chief reorganisation officer to Auckland Park. This was to avoid SOEs returning to the National Treasury to seek bailouts.

The bailouts to SOEs currently stand at R529bn, with Eskom holding most of the debt, and the power utility has been described as a risk to the economy.

The National Treasury has given Eskom R23bn a year and this will amount to R230bn over the next decade, Mboweni said.

In the budget review, the National Treasury said that most of the SOEs could not meet their financial obligations and were not generating revenue. This had been going on for 10 years and would not be allowed to continue.

Political Bureau