Happy 95th birthday Eskom!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

As power utility Eskom marks its 95th birthday, its interim Group Chief Executive Phakamani Hadebe says the utility continues to contribute to the growth and development of the economy.

“Turning 95 years is a great milestone for our organisation and a self-motivation as we manoeuvre through the liquidity and governance challenges that we are currently grappling with as the organisation.

“What is more striking about Eskom’s proud heritage is that people have and will always remain at the heart of this business, whose history is deeply embedded in the history and the development of South Africa,” Hadebe said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Eskom announced that it had signed a R20 billion credit facility with a consortium of local and international banks. The government guaranteed facility will form part of the financing of Eskom’s current capital expenditure programme. Hadebe said the loan facility is a demonstration of the financial markets’ confidence in the utility’s turnaround strategy.

Downgrade

In addition, the power utility noted rating agency Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) decision to downgrade its rating to ‘CCC+’ largely due to its current liquidity challenges.

However, as it marked its 95th birthday on Thursday, the power utility announced that it had connected 100 380 households to the national grid over the past six months.

The 2018 Budget has allocated R17.3 billion to Eskom and municipalities to electrify a further 640 000 households over the next three years. This as South Africa hopes to achieve universal access to electricity by 2025.

Through a successful electrification programme, more than five million households within Eskom’s licensed areas of supply have been electrified since 1990. 

“Together with the Board, we are busy formulating a strategic framework that will ensure that this institution survives another 100 years,” said Hadebe.

Established on 1 March 1923 under the government of the Union of South Africa, the power utility generates approximately 95% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 45% of the electricity used on the African continent. 

The power utility falls under the ambit of the Department of Public Enterprises. - SAnews.gov.za

 

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