Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Africa, Forex

South Africa’s Eskom new funding bill expected July 23

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni aims to table a bill in parliament on July 23 to give struggling state power firm Eskom more money for the current financial year and next, to alleviate its acute liquidity problems.

Mboweni told parliament on Thursday that Eskom presented the biggest risk to the country’s fiscal framework and stressed that there were serious risks to the economy if it collapsed.

Eskom, which supplies more than 90 percent of the country’s electricity but has implemented severe power cuts this year, fails to generate sufficient profit to meet its debt-service costs and has required state cash injections to stay afloat.

Mboweni, a key ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, added that the government would also provide financial support from its contingency reserve to ailing South African Airways, weapons manufacturer Denel and broadcaster SABC.

“This additional financial support cannot be a blank cheque to these state-owned enterprises,” Mboweni said. “We really and truly cannot go on like this.”

The minister said South Africa’s tax collection was underperforming due to a weak economic environment and the government would focus its short-term efforts on addressing rising debt and on stricter controls on expenditure.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by Alexander Winning; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Elaine Hardcastle)

An employee counts U.S dollar bills at a money exchange office in central Cairo

© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.
Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [id] => 1300809 [url] => OZABS-UK-SAFRICA-ECONOMY-RESERVES [image] => 2019-10-07T081038Z_1_LYNXMPEF960DK-OZABS_RTROPTP_1_OZABS-UK-SAFRICA-ECONOMY-RESERVES.JPG [image2] => 2019-10-07T081038Z_1_LYNXMPEF960DK-OZABS_RTROPTP_3_OZABS-UK-SAFRICA-ECONOMY-RESERVES.JPG [image_caption] => An employee counts U.S dollar bills at a money exchange office in central Cairo [date] => 2019-10-07 [tdate] => 2019-10-07 11:40:04 ) )