Committee to recover approximately R50 billion Eskom debt from municipalities and govt established

Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Cyril Ramaphosa says municipalities and government departments owe Eskom approximately R50 billion. The president conducted his final quarterly question and answer session in the National Assembly for this year.

He says a multi-disciplinary revenue committee was established to ensure that this debt by municipalities and other government organs to Eskom is paid.

“The debt owed to Eskom by municipalities and government departments stands at more than R50 billion. Non-payment is unacceptable. Department of Cogta, part of consultations, on-going process hope will gain traction, (and) result in a situation where less and less municipalities and government departments owe less money to Eskom.”

And whether the executives who qualified for free electricity since April – when a new ministerial handbook was issued and since withdrawn, must pay for this and how much – that is still being determined.

“When (we) withdrew the handbook, (it) was so (that the) process could be properly investigated. Salaries of public representatives determined by an independent body and it occurred to me that an issue such as this one,  once properly processed, to be properly examined by independent body.”

The matter of whether the executive leadership at Eskom should be changed to ensure energy stability was also raised.

But the president said board at the power utility will inform the shareholder of what changes are needed.

“The new board has skills, experience as well as expertise to undertake thorough assessment of current executive leadership at Eskom and take whatever steps they think necessary to address any weakness. And they must be given the space to do so.”

On the question of whether Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) policies still serve its purpose, the president said the country still has a long way to go to correct the inequalities of the past.

VIDEO | President Cyril Ramaphosa to update Parliament on electricity, empowerment and energy transition: