South Africa: Parliament Considers Eskom Special Appropriation Bill

The National Assembly will today consider and make decisions on the on the 2019 Appropriation Bill and the highly anticipated special Eskom Appropriation Bill.

The Appropriation Bill proposes appropriating money from the National Revenue Fund for requirements of the State and prescribes conditions for the spending of the funds withdrawn.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled the 2019/2020 national budget in Parliament on 20 February, together with the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

In a statement, Parliament said the Bill lapsed after the last sitting of the National Assembly before the May general elections.

"However, the sixth Parliament's National Assembly revived it in June. The Minister of Finance also tabled proposed amendments on 25 June," said Parliament.

These amendments include the authorisation of expenditure of R17.652 billion to Eskom on 2 April, in terms of section 16 (1) of the Public Finance Management Act, which deals with use of funds in emergency situations.

If today's National Assembly plenary sitting agrees to the Appropriation Bill, the Bill will be sent to the National Council of Provinces for consideration and decision.

Earlier this month, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said a special bill on Eskom -- aimed at finding a roadmap of the power utility's recovery - was being drafted.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Gordhan said, will soon introduce a Special Appropriation Bill aimed at bolstering Eskom's cash position soon.

Briefing reporters in Cape Town at the time, Gordhan said work on the paper had begun.

"We should have a draft very soon for government to look at," said Gordhan.

The power utility is currently facing financial challenges.

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