Johannesburg - Electricity parastatal Eskom on Sunday denied media reports that the state-owned company (SOC) is facing a cash crisis.
This after a Sunday Times report revealed that the parastatal was down to its "last R20 billion", enough to last for the next three months, but still wanted to pay executives such as axed CEO Brian Molefe and suspended CEO Matshela Koko bonuses.
Eskom had noted weekend media reports concerning its financial sustainability, Eskom said in a statement.
"Due to limitations around disclosing financial information before the official announcement which is scheduled for Wednesday 19 July 2017, Eskom is not in a position to respond comprehensively to the specific issues raised at this stage. Having said this, Eskom refutes the notion that it is facing a cash crisis and that it has only enough cash to last for the next three months," Eskom said.
External auditors had confirmed Eskom as a going concern and as a result the company saw these reports as being inaccurate and misleading.
"It is important to reiterate that Eskom is not facing any liquidity challenges and that the company is confident that it will maintain sufficient liquidity to support its operations."
Eskom said the 2014/15 annual financial results stated an emphasis of matter in relation to its going concern, which was addressed and subsequently removed in the 2015/16 financial year.
While Eskom’s financial position had always been supported by significant reliance on debt and borrowings, its improved overall financial and operational performance over the past two years had led to an improved balance sheet. Eskom also had sufficient government guarantees to execute its funding plan, and had also maintained access to capital markets and raised committed funding, Eskom said.
"As stated above, the details about Eskom’s operational and financial performance will be announced on Wednesday where members of the media and other key stakeholders have been invited. Eskom will continue to meet with a number of stakeholders ahead of releasing the results this week," it said.
The DA meanwhile, urged Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown to stop the "handover of millions of public money" to Eskom executives behind the utility's financial woes.
"The DA publically calls on MBrown to reject the request to approve short term bonuses of R5.5 million for three former and current executives, which forms part of an R13 million payment for top executives: R2.1 million for Molefe, R1.5 million for Koko, and R1.9 million for CFO, Anoj Singh.
"The fact is that Eskom may not be able to pay salaries to its 49 000 employees come November. According to reports, its income decreased from R5.3 billion last year to R900 million in June, while the interest it accrued on its debt jumped to R38 billion from R31 billion."
The party said these figures showed that Eskom's finances were in a shambles and a stark contrast to the "picture of excellence painted by Ben Ngubane when he and the board appeared before the portfolio committee on public enterprises less than two months ago".
It further said it was unacceptable for executives to get paid bonuses while ordinary employees may not be paid.
"Only good performance should be rewarded, yet Eskom is clearly intent on doing the opposite.
"The DA will not allow public money to be squandered on ineffective executives while the livelihoods of ordinary employees are put at risk."
Additional reporting by ANA