This is not a paywall.

Register for free to continue reading.

We made a promise to you that we’ll never erect a paywall and we intend to keep that promise. We also want to continually improve your reading experience and you can help us do that by registering with us. It’s quick, easy and will cost you nothing.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish up registering with us:

Please enter your password or get a login link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for registering.

First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

South Africa Seeks Legal Advice on $24 Billion Eskom De...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

South Africa Seeks Legal Advice on $24 Billion Eskom Debt Burden

Eskom's Kusile coal-fired power station in Delmas, Mpumalanga. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg)
By Bloomberg
04 Jul 2022 2

South Africa’s National Treasury is seeking to hire a legal firm to advise it on how to reorganize the 396 billion rand ($24 billion) debt burden held by national power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., people familiar with the situation said.

A request for proposals from the firms was issued recently, according to one of the people. It comes as the department continues with technical work it began in March on how to deal with the debt that’s left the utility reliant on state handouts to survive. Eskom doesn’t earn sufficient revenue to cover its running costs and interest payments, and the company has subjeced the country to intermittent power outages since 2008 because it can’t meet demand. The people asked not to be identified as a public statement has not been made.

The development may indicate more urgency by the South African government to resolve the crisis at Eskom, which is holding back the economy and damaging the popularity of the ruling African National Congress. The country is currently experiencing its worst-ever power cuts, with as much as 6,000 megawatts being shed from the national grid, after a pay strike halted some of its plants and interrupted maintenance.

Read More:

The crisis, which has resulted in a drumbeat of negative news reports and headlines, is causing divisions within the government. Gwede Mantashe, the energy minister, has absolved himself of blame, while Pravin Gordhan, the minister of public enterprises, told the News24 website that the government should cut “the damn red tape” to get more privately owned power generation units online.

The Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Eskom Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter has said the company would only be sustainable if its debt is reduced to 200 billion rand.  The government has previously considered the option of moving a portion of Eskom’s debt onto the sovereign balance sheet — a decision that would need to be made by Treasury and then approved by the cabinet.

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 2

  • “ The development may indicate more urgency by the South African government to resolve the crisis at Eskom, which is holding back the economy and damaging the popularity of the ruling African National Congress.” Electoral defeat is finally a motivator for the ANC. Let’s hope they get thrown out in 2024. They are completely unfit to govern a kindergarten let alone a country.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted