Moody’s to “be happy” with SA Govt.’s imminent announcements on Eskom, IRP

RATINGS agency Moody’s would “be happy” with announcements the government would make on Eskom this week, said South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Speaking at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London, Ramaphosa said announcements would also be made regarding permanently filling the CEO position at Eskom.

“We will make announcements on how to deal with debt in the next few days. We hope Moody’s will take note,” said Ramaphosa in response to questions.

The government was working on “innovative ideas” to deal with Eskom debt. “I think Moody’s and others will be happy with the announcements made,” he said in a report by Bloomberg News republished by News24.

Responding to a question about government’s plans to reassure ratings agency Moody’s about reforming Eskom, Ramaphosa acknowledged that Eskom is “dogged” by “huge debt”. Eskom’s debt levels surpass R450bn.

Asked about energy strategy, Ramaphosa said: “We will deal with that and provide a clearer picture of how to move forward with energy”. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), an energy blueprint, is due to be discussed by Cabinet this week.

The IRP was originally produced in 2010 but it contains outdated growth numbers on GDP and a view on how coal-fired energy will contribute to the energy mix that might be out of date as per the new version.

During his address, Ramaphosa said Eskom was struggling with liquidity problems and operational challenges. But there was a process to strengthen governance, improve debt collection and increase energy availability and plant performance, he added.

He said the planned unbundling of Eskom into three entities – generation, transmission and distribution-┬áis similar to what other countries have done.

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