SOUTH AFRICA ANNOUNCES $1.6BN BAILOUT TO KEEP LIGHTS ON
Written by thereachfm on February 20, 2019
South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced today a $1.6 billion a year bailout for the country’s electricity utility in a bid to stave off further downgrades to Pretoria’s credit rating as he unveiled a new budget.
Credit ratings agencies have warned that state power utility Eskom’s $30 billion debt crisis could spark credit rating downgrades which would embarrass President Cyril Ramaphosa as he prepares for nationwide elections on May 8..
Reports has it maintenance issues at Eskom’s power plants plunged swathes of the country into darkness this month as the utility implemented rolling blackouts and struggled to restore supplies.
Meanwhile the crisis has quickly become a leading election battleground issue, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) calling for Eskom’s privatisation.