Engineering News writes that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says a draft White Paper outlining government’s approach to the unbundling of State-owned power utility Eskom, as well as how its “unsustainable” debt burden will be managed, is being prepared and should be finalised within weeks. Gordhan made the remarks ahead of his Budget Vote address, which was initially delayed when members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) threatened the Minister with physical violence in an attempt to prevent him form speaking.
Gordhan said the paper would outline South Africa’s future energy environment, as well as the envisaged financial arrangements for Eskom. It would also address the utility’s indebtedness and its restructuring, as well as identify cost-saving opportunities in the areas of coal, staffing and capital efficiency. Operationally, the paper would assess whether the utility could sustain a higher energy availability factor.
by Terence Creamer