No plan B for Eskom loan

2010-04-06 16:06

Should Eskom fail to get a loan from the World Bank, there was “no

plan B”, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has confirmed.

Peters said all South Africans should support the granting of this

loan because “25 percent of people are still waiting to have access to basic

minimum electricity”.

Speaking after a round-table discussion with Business Unity SA

(Busa) today, Peters said she could not shed any light on how the World Bank

members would vote.

The British government is reportedly under pressure to block South

Africa’s efforts to secure a $3.7 billion loan from the World Bank to construct

the coal-fired Medupi power station.

Joining Peters at today’s news briefing, Busa chairman Raymond

Parsons said it was already on record as supporting the World Bank loan. “It’s

part of Eskom’s broader borrowing programme. Eskom has already obtained a loan

from the African Development Bank,” Parsons said.

“The World Bank loan at this stage is essential, and we must

remember that the security and expansion of electrical power is a pro-poor

mechanism ... We must see it that way.”

The World Bank was due to give its verdict on the loan on

Thursday.

Turning to questions about the ANC’s involvement in the building of

the Medupi power station through its 25?percent stake in Hitachi Africa via

Chancellor House, Peters said the issue should be addressed by the treasury

general of the ruling party.


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