File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters.

Parliament - The ANC used its majority in Parliament to muscle through the Special Appropriations Bill to allow for the bailout of Eskom to the tune of R59 billion.

This came after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told MPs on Tuesday that the problems at Eskom were complex.

He said they need skilled people to serve on the board and executive management.

A majority of 200 ANC MPs approved the Bill on Eskom against 100 opposition members. The opposition had rejected the Special Appropriations Bill saying it was akin to throwing money into a bottomless pit.

But Mboweni said the problems at the power utility were far deeper than people thought. He said the state-owned entities were also a burden to the state.

The government has dished out billions of rands to bailout SOEs.

“One of the things I learnt since I assumed office is that the minister of finance is burdened to find resources for Eskom, SAA, SA Express, Denel, Alexkor and a huge bill of the compensation of employees within the context of a declining revenue due to low economic growth,” said Mboweni. 

He said despite everything that has been said by people about Eskom it was a business run by people.

He also called on those who owe Eskom to pay for its service. Municipalities owe Eskom billions of rands.

Political Bureau