23/11/2017 06:29 SAST | Updated 23/11/2017 06:29 SAST

Lynne Browne: Eskom Is Financially Okay For The Next Six Months

“I have a sense that we need to rethink the company. I’m not saying we have to privatise.”

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Eskom is okay financially for the next six months, says Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

Testifying before the parliamentary inquiry into state capture, she said the R23-billion bailout it received in 2015 had stabilised the power utility. However, it currently had some liquidity problems.

"Presently, Eskom does have liquidity problems. Eskom has raised only 52 percent of its build programme for next year. In previous years, it would have raised almost 100 percent.

"The 2.2 percent tariff rise last year does not cover the cost of electricity, and, of course, the economy is not growing, so electricity usage grew by about 1.2 percent in the past year.

"The sale of electricity is not growing; more and more people are going off the grid.

"I have a sense that we need to rethink the company. I'm not saying we have to privatise."

Brown said Eskom would meet its obligations.

"For the next six months, Eskom is still okay. But that's not good enough, so Eskom needs to look how it's going to create sustainability in the company."