ARM : 16,194 -514 (-3.08%)
South African billionaire Motsepe says he won't buy Eskom assets
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 18 (Reuters) - South African billionaire
Patrice Motsepe said on Monday that he would not buy any assets
which struggling state power firm Eskom puts up for sale, in
response to speculation that he was eyeing an Eskom financial
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is Motsepe's brother-in-law,
this month unveiled a plan to split Eskom into three units to
boost efficiency, which some analysts see as a path to
privatising the utility.
"I have never supported the privatisation of Eskom or the
sale of any of its entities or assets," Motsepe said at a news
conference. "African Rainbow Energy & Power (AREP) or any
company that I am associated with will not be part of any sale
of any entities or assets of Eskom."
Motsepe's African Rainbow Capital was reportedly eyeing some
or all of Eskom Finance Company, an Eskom subsidiary which lends
to employees and which the government put up for sale as part of
efforts to shore up the company's balance sheet.
Eskom this month implemented some of the worst power cuts in
Motsepe, the country's richest black businessman, who is
also the brother-in-law of Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, said:
"Having relatives in very high positions in government
justifiably raises perceptions of favouritism."
Motsepe, who also has a large stake in mining company
African Rainbow Minerals, also denied on Monday that he
had unduly profited from his investments in renewable energy.
AREP's stakes in various renewables projects, valued at
around 800 million rand ($56 million), were bought from private
companies, not directly from the government as part of auctions
organised the energy ministry, Motsepe said.
($1 = 14.0838 rand)
(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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