A plan to fix Eskom is still a work in progress and should be completed by month-end, when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is scheduled to deliver his mid-term budget, said Enoch Godongwana, the ANC’s head of economic transformation.
The ANC does back a proposal, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February,to split ESKOM into generation, transmission and distribution units under a state holding company, he said.
Mboweni suggested in a policy paper released in August that the utility’s entire debt of R450bn could be settled by selling off coal-fired power plants – an option opposed by the ANC’s labor-union allies.
He also wants the state to relinquish its near monopoly over the provision of electricity, port and rail services, make it easier to do business and maintain a flexible exchange rate, inflation targeting and sustainable fiscal policy.
While the finance minister may not succeed in winning approval for all his proposals, the urgent need for a plan could mean at least some of them find easier passage.