South Africa: Cosatu's Eskom Idea Is 'Catalysing', but a New, Larger Plan Is Now Being Considered

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While Cosatu's idea of using state employees' pension fund cash to bail out Eskom has sparked a discussion, vice-president of Business Unity South Africa Martin Kingston says the discussion has moved on to a broader social compact and framework agreement.

With the clock ticking to President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night, 13 February 2020, there is much discussion over what many hope will be the main course to emerge from the present policy cauldron.

This is the plan to restructure Eskom's finances and at the same time those of the state. The aim is to ward off a credit rating downgrade and provide a financial fix to the existential threat which Eskom poses to our futures.

Under public discussion is a proposal motivated by trade union federation Cosatu which suggested accessing R250-billion of the pension funds of state workers to reduce Eskom's debt to about R200-billion, a level which it has previously said is manageable.

But Martin Kingston, vice-president of Business Unity South Africa (Busa), who leads business representation in discussions on Eskom both in negotiating forum Nedlac and a presidential working committee arising out of the Jobs Summit, says that while Cosatu's proposal...

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