Budget 2021

Eskom turnaround plan expected within days - Mboweni

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Government will have a new turnaround strategy from the board of Eskom within days, according to Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni.

Mboweni tabled his first medium term budget policy statement in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

State-owned entities and their baggage, in the form of years of mismanagement and financial disaster, have presented one of the most significant risks to the fiscus.

Mboweni told members of Parliament that government reforms were already at hand in some state-owned entities and would be implemented by new boards.

"The Eskom board is preparing a long-term turnaround strategy to be presented to government in November 2018, and several other entities have updated their turnaround strategies in recent months," said Mboweni.

Mboweni said the departments of energy and public enterprises and the National Treasury had already begun determining how a restructured electricity sector could support growth and attract higher investment in electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

He said Eskom concluded 27 outstanding power-purchase agreements with independent power producers. This will bring benefits to the communities where those projects are located by creating an estimated 61 000 jobs and enabling investments of R56bn.

During a media briefing ahead of the tabling of the policy statement, Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane said Eskom had already raised R72bn, which was more than 80% of the funding it pursued for the 2019/20 financial year.

He said while state-owned entities were a fiscal risk, no effort could be spared in ensuring that entities like Eskom continue to function.

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