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Manuel: ‘Eskom must fund itself’

30 June 2008 – South African finance minister, Trevor Manuel, has said the Eskom must resume funding itself. Manuel was addressing the recently formed National Stakeholder Advisory Council on Electricity.

Trevor Manuel

Finance minister,
Trevor Manuel

The Council was formed to facilitate communication between the government and monitor the implementation of electricity programmes, policies and decisions.

Pressure is mounting on the government to provide funding for Eskom’s planned expansion programme, after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa turned down a 53% tariff increase request from Eskom.

In the budget vote speech delivered by Manuel earlier this year, R60 billion (US$7.6 billion) was allocated, on a loan basis, to Eskom.

However, speaking on Friday, Manuel said ""In the tradition of almost 100 years, Eskom has always funded itself on the strength of its balance sheet. That is the position we must return to."

Now that NERSA’s decision regarding the tariff increase was known, Manuel said the treasury and the minerals and energy and public enterprises departments were "in close consultation" to develop a funding strategy.