Eskom reduced debt by R83 billion, Gordhan tells MPs

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said that managing Eskom’s debt was a key priority for the government as it tried to steer the power utility onto a sustainable path.

Megawatt Park pictured on Johannesburg on 12 March 2015. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Eskom’s mountain of debt has been reduced by R83 billion.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said that this meant that Eskom’s debt now stood at R401 billion, down from R484 billion.

Gordhan was delivering his budget vote speech in Parliament on Tuesday.

The minister said that managing Eskom’s debt was a key priority for the government as it tried to steer the power utility onto a sustainable path.

He used his budget speech to deliver some good news on Eskom’s debt woes.

“The entity is continuing to implement its cost-reduction initiative, with a saving of R13.5 billion achieved in the 2020/2021 financial year.

“Most notably was the R83 billion reduction of debt in the 20/21 financial year from R484 billion to R401 billion due to the repayment of the maturing debt and changes in the exchange rate. Those are significant numbers, chairperson.”

Gordhan said, however, that Eskom’s consumer debt continued to rise, and that special attention must be paid to municipalities, which collectively owed Eskom billions in unpaid electricity bills.

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