Parliament has heard that Eskom is facing debt repayments totalling R152 billion over the next five years. The cash-strapped power utility has received a qualified audit opinion from the Auditor General with an irregular expenditure totalling R11 billion.

The office of the Auditor-General briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Eskom’s audit outcomes for the 2020/21 financial year.

The AG says the debt repayment can be met with government support combined with cost-reflective tariffs.

African National Congress (ANC) MP, Sakhumzi Somyo, says he finds it hard to believe that the power utility is performing when the country is being plunged into darkness.

“When the country experiences such telling blow in as far as the provision of such basic necessity getting into the instances of dark days, dark nights which hit the markets, our people who are suffering currently in terms of their jobs making ends meet. SMMEs that are impacted is derived from key performance of Eskom to provide energy and your actual outcome as far as performance is concerned is good indicating that Eskom is meeting their own standards.”

Rolling Blackouts | Eskom plunges South Africa into darkness: Chris Yelland

Meanwhile, the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) says it backs the Eskom leadership team in their efforts to stabilise and restore the country’s electricity supply after the stage four rolling blackouts experienced in the past two weeks.

The Council has urged government to focus on shortening the bureaucratic processes that are currently hindering Eskom’s ability to procure urgently required spares for power stations and infrastructure.

At the same time, the Council urges government to consider emergency tax incentives and other smart-tape measures to encourage private-sector investment in energy generation to build on the recent announcement of the raising of the license-free cap to 100 megawatts.

Eskom media briefing | 10 November 2021