Citizen reporter
1 minute read
1 Mar 2019
5:20 pm

S&P revises Eskom credit rating outlook to stable

Citizen reporter

US-based ratings agency Standard & Poor's has revised Eskom's investment rating outlook from negative to stable, Eskom said on Friday.

Outgoing Eskom Group CEO Phakamani Hadebe. Picture: REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko / File Photo

Its long-term credit rating remains at CCC+, which is below investment grade.

It means that the utility remains in what is known as “junk” status, but that the state’s plans to turn around the embattled utility may have convinced the agency that the country is serious about improving the power supplier’s fortunes.

A R69 billion lifeline thrown to Eskom over the next three years will cover about 70 percent of Eskom’s debt servicing costs, opening up room for the utility to use more of its revenue to keep the lights on, the power utility’s chief executive Phakamani Hadebe said last month.

Speaking at parliament after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled South Africa’s national budget, Hadebe said the R23 billion-a year-equity injection will go a long way towards helping the utility to pay debt costs, which stood at around R32 billion a year.

This he said, would allow it to spend what it earned on operational problems that have beset Eskom.

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