South Africa: Mboweni Waxes Biblical As MPs Approve R59 Billion Eskom Bailout

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Troubled power utility Eskom came a step closer to getting its R59bn bailout over two years when the National Assembly adopted the Special Appropriation Bill. But Tuesday wasn't without sound and fury - neither in the House, nor the public spending watchdog committee, Scopa.

Parliament's watchdog, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), cancelled its meeting in censure of a ministerial no-show - and it has requested all flight and accommodation costs for those officials who did come so the committee could allocate responsibility to carry the fruitless expense.

In one of the strongest expressions of parliamentary oversight in the post-May 2019 election Parliament, MPs from the ANC, DA and EFF took a dim view of being ditched at the last minute by Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on Tuesday 22 October.

Dlamini Zuma now chairs the inter-ministerial task team established in August 2017 tasked with interventions in the deadlock between Eskom and municipalities, not only over the ballooning municipal debt but also their dispute over electricity reticulation.

Municipal debt stood at R25.1-billion at the end of September, according to Eskom's own statistics. Other debt to Eskom includes R2.5-billion by government departments and just under R1-billion from international sales...

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