‘Govt’s intervention over Eskom’s R400 billion debt to be outlined in Medium Term Budget Policy Statement’

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Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says government’s intervention to deal with Eskom’s R400 billion debt, will be outlined in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October.

Godongwana says the tariff debate between Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), also needs to be finalised expeditiously to help support a rapid solution to the country’s energy challenges.

He says there is currently no need to discuss a drawdown to support Eskom’s maintenance plan, as the power utility is yet to approach National Treasury in this regard.

Godongwana was addressing an inter-ministerial energy briefing in Pretoria on Monday.

“Eskom’s debt is an issue, which the principle is settled and we’re taking to the cabinet Lekgotla in due course to look at those scenarios. The final quantum, the scenarios and the conditions precedent and the conditions post, will also be dealt with on October 26 in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement,” adds Godongwana.

Meanwhile, government says it will reduce the regulatory requirements for solar projects in areas of low and medium environmental sensitivity.

This will allow Eskom to expand power lines and substations without environmental authorisation in these areas.

Government says this is part of efforts to speed up its response to the country’s energy crisis.

Addressing an inter-ministerial energy briefing in Pretoria, Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Barbara Creecy, says her department is working to reduce the regulatory burden where possible.

“We have already identified five electricity transmission corridors and when this particular infrastructure is located within those transmissions corridors, and we have worked with Eskom on identifying those corridors that these provisions with regard to not needing an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) would kick in if it’s areas of low and medium sensitivity,” adds Creecy.

The video below is the ministers of energy Crisis committee media briefing: