Pretoria - The South African government unveiled the broad outlines of a plan to overhaul struggling state power firm Eskom on Tuesday, saying it hoped to complete a legal separation of the utility into three entities around 2022.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a state of the nation address in February that the government planned to split Eskom into units for generation, transmission and distribution, but there has been little detail about the timeframe.
Tuesday's release of a government "special paper" on Eskom had been eagerly anticipated by investors and ratings agencies, which cite the financial and operational crisis at Eskom as one of the biggest risks to Africa's most industrialised economy.
Eskom produces more than 90% of South Africa's electricity but has been grappling with faults at its coal-fired power stations that have caused several rounds of power outages this year. It also has an unsustainable 440 billion rand ($30 billion) debt burden.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that the government would prioritise setting up the transmission unit as a separate entity within an Eskom holding company.