South Africa 24.8.2018 08:54 am

Maimane wants terms of Eskom-China loan deal tabled in parliament

Leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane speaks during his keynote address at the Joburg Indaba at the Inanda Club in Johannesburg on 4 October 2017. The conference discussed challenges facing the mining sector and issues facing both business and government. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane speaks during his keynote address at the Joburg Indaba at the Inanda Club in Johannesburg on 4 October 2017. The conference discussed challenges facing the mining sector and issues facing both business and government. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The leader of the official opposition wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to table the loan agreement before the National Assembly within 14 days.

Main opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he tables in Parliament within 14 days, the full terms and conditions of a R33 billion loan agreement state power firm Eskom recently signed with the Chinese Development Bank.

In a statement, Maimane noted that Ramaphosa had pledged during an oral question and answer session in Parliament on Wednesday that the government would be transparent and accountable when borrowing money that would ultimately need to be paid back by the people of South Africa.

“However, the terms and conditions of this loan – particularly around South Africa’s repayment liability – remain secret,” Maimane said.

“Therefore, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, I have today written to President Ramaphosa requesting that he tables the full unredacted loan agreement, with all its material terms and conditions, before the National Assembly within 14 days.”

If Ramaphosa failed to do so, the DA would submit a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request for the loan terms to be made public, the opposition leader added.

Maimane noted that Eskom was in dire financial straits and made a R2.3 billion loss in the last financial year, and that it was therefore not clear how the utility or the government would find the money to pay back the loan.

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