Ramaphosa set to announce plans to ‘save’ Eskom

Ramaphosa set to announce plans to ‘save’ Eskom

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to announce plans to resolve the crisis at Eskom when he replies to the debate on his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa .

Acting director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises, Thuto Shomang, told MPs on Wednesday that the power utility is technically insolvent and a bailout is the only way to guarantee its survival beyond April.

Shomang said the total debt at Eskom has increased to R420 billion -  an amount which he believes poses a serious risk to the economy.

Eskom has been forced to implement load-shedding since Sunday due to a shortage of capacity. 

"We are going to be coming up with a number of announcements tomorrow and in the following week we will also address the financial aspect," Ramaphosa told the media following a cabinet meeting in Cape Town.

Ramaphosa said while he is shocked at how quickly the situation has escalated, South Africans should remain calm as the government will announce solutions to the crisis.

"I'm going to be able to say to South Africans: ‘Let's not panic’. In some ways we have been here before and we came out on the other side of the river and we will address this issue, and this challenge and this problem and we will find solutions. And solutions are actually emerging. And we will be okay."

He said that the government is under no illusion over the devastating impact load-shedding has on people and the economy.

"But notwithstanding all that, we have been discussing all morning as cabinet the dire situation that we are in and we are working ou a number of plans so that we are able to address this challenge collectively."


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