Pravin Gordhan insists Eskom is not on verge of collapse
Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says Eskom is not on the verge of collapse although it would continue to require government support as efforts to reform the parastatal are underway.
Gordhan said issues faced by Eskom were under control.
Eskom has been facing both financial and operational issues with South Africans experiencing the return of load-shedding with low power supplies. Loadshedding made a comeback last year.
The power utility had received an R5 billion bailout from the government recently.
Gordhan said Eskom, like many other state-owned enterprises, had experienced state capture which resulted in damage to financial and operational capacity.
"Eskom is not on the brink of collapse. We have state-owned entities that are finding themselves in financial difficulties as a result of state capture. The damage that has been caused is huge and involves operational issues and financial issues," said Gordhan during an interview with Radio702.
"We have the problem under control and understand the changes that have to be made. And that is why the president has said that Eskom needs to undergo a number of changes. Eskom staff have done really well in informing us about the operational issues. We are at a position where Eskom is not going be able to manage financially on its own," he said.
One of the processes of fixing Eskom entails a process of splitting the entity into three separate units. This move was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his state of the nation address.
On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was on the verge appointing former ABSA Group CEO Maria Ramos to head up the process of splitting Eskom.
Gordhan said he was not aware of Mboweni's decision.IOL