Committee hears of R254bn Eskom debt relief - Parliament

Committee further welcomed capital injections into SOEs and the conditions attached to them

Standing Committee on Appropriations receives Eskom Debt Relief Bill

19 April 2023

The Standing Committee on Appropriations yesterday received a briefing from National Treasury on the 2023 Appropriation Bill and 2023 Eskom Debt Relief Bill. The bills were presented by the Minister of Finance in February during the budget speech in the National Assembly where he announced the government's plan of debt relief to Eskom of 254 billion.

National Treasury also presented an analysis of underspending, where the committee expressed concern that several departments are repeat offenders. Some of the reasons provided to the National Treasury were delays in filling vacant positions, procurement and delays in paying claims due to disputes and verification processes.

According to National Treasury, Eskom has had severe liquidity and solvency challenges related to its unsustainable debt burden. The government views resolving Eskom’s debt burden as a chance to unlock investment and restore fiscal credibility. National Treasury further said the Eskom Debt Relief Bill will enable much-needed investment in critical transmission and other infrastructure, and allow Eskom to prioritise critical maintenance.

The committee further welcomed capital injections into state-owned entities and the conditions attached to them. It also welcomes the measures National Treasury has put in place to monitor the implementation of these conditions at Eskom. The committee will also closely monitor Eskom’s progress in this regard.

The committee emphasised that at all times there should be proper interventions, especially with the Eskom Debt Relief Bill, especially from National Treasury.

Committee Chairperson Mr Sfiso Buthelezi said the question of transparency is important for Eskom. In addition he said, these interventions should allow Eskom to produce a more reliable electricity supply, which will allow South Africa to deal with all its socioeconomic challenges.

Issued by Jabulani Majozi, Media Officer, Parliamentary Communications Services, 19 April 2023