South Africa: Public Enterprises to Detail Eskom Special Paper

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is today expected to give further details on plans for power utility Eskom.

The Minister is expected to release the Special Paper on Eskom at a briefing to be held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) head office in Pretoria this afternoon.

According to the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the Special Paper sets out in detail "a comprehensive roadmap for Eskom in a reformed electricity supply industry".

In August, Eskom announced that government would publish a Special Paper on the company, which will clearly outline the roadmap to put it on a long-term sustainability path.

"This paper will reflect the urgent work that is taking place to identify options to resolve the debt challenge, the process for restructuring Eskom and importantly, to ensure a just transition," said the power utility at the time.

In his State of the Nation Address in February 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Eskom is too big and important for government to let it fail.

Eskom is facing a R450 billion debt burden.

The President announced the restructuring of Eskom into three entities, starting with the creation of a transmission entity.

This was a recommendation of the Presidential Sustainability Task Team based on both international trends and a study conducted by Eskom and in line with government policy, as outlined in the White Paper on Energy 1998.

The Special Paper comes a day before Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is set to table the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in Parliament on 30 October 2019.

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