No leave for Eskom’s senior managers amid power shortage, Pravin Gordhan says

Gordhan said on Thursday that there was nothing definite with regard to the R100bn figure. 

Currently, Eskom operates thanks to a R350bn debt guarantee by the government, which has been flagged as the biggest risk to the fiscus.

Eskom, which supplies most of SA’s electricity, has massed R419bn worth of debt over the past 10 years due to its huge capital build programme. It is now unable to pay interest costs from revenue earned and must borrow to service its debt. Interest costs over the next three years are projected to be R250bn.

Overall debt is projected to rise to R600bn over three years if debt levels are not contained.

Gordhan dismissed suggestions that the government would take a decision to privatise Eskom, saying this came from people trying to cause political mischief.

He said the issue was about finding the money to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure.

With regard to the construction of the two mega power stations, Medupi and Kusile, Gordhan said forensic investigations had already signalled that contractors had been falling short in design and quality.

“There’s going to be tough talking between the board and management on one hand, and with companies. Somebody is making money from the doubling of costs in Medupi,” Gordhan said.

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