Eskom clar­i­fies cash sta­tus

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Politics - REFILWE MA­GASHULE news@the­newage.co.za

ESKOM on Mon­day in­sisted that the 2.2% tar­iff in­crease for the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year will present chal­lenges to the util­ity’s liq­uid­ity po­si­tion for the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.

It re­it­er­ated this point yes­ter­day in the wake of me­dia re­ports re­lated to its liq­uid­ity chal­lenges and fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity.

“As a re­sult, Eskom has had to un­der­take cer­tain fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments to en­sure suf­fi­cient liq­uid­ity, in line with its fund­ing re­quire­ments.

Cost con­tain­ment has been one of the key com­po­nents of our strat­egy. The com­pany’s cost-cut­ting mea­sures are bear­ing fruit, with a sav­ing of R47bn re­alised from the 2012-13 to 2017-18 fi­nan­cial years,” it said.

Re­ports emerged on Mon­day that the util­ity was on the brink of in­sol­vency with only R1.2bn of liq­uid­ity re­serves ex­pected to be on hand at the end of Novem­ber.

Eskom said it had adopted an ag­gres­sive sales vol­ume growth to sup­port eco­nomic growth.

To date, Eskom had se­cured ap­prox­i­mately 56% of its fund­ing re­quire­ments for the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, it said. Eskom kept the lights on in 2016 af­ter threats of na­tion wide black­outs caused by a short­age coal. Eskom in­creased tar­rifs but still fell un­der bud­get in meet­ing their profit mar­gins for the fi­nan­cial year. Gov­ern­ment has been crit­i­cised for bail­ing Eskom out, some call­ing for the pri­vati­sa­tion of the State owned en­tity.

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