Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
11 Feb 2020
1:52 pm

A bailout by any other name… Taxpayers to foot the Eskom bill again

Rorisang Kgosana

Noises from Cosatu regarding the use of government pension funds to rescue the ailing national power utility would essentially amount to just another bailout from taxpayers, since they're the ones who would have to foot the bill to reimburse the funds should Eskom continue on its current path.

Medupi power station. Picture: Gallo Images / Mail & Guardian / Madelene Cronjé

The Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) proposal to rescue Eskom using government pensions is simply a government bailout in disguise, as eventually taxpayers would be the ones bearing the brunt should Eskom fail to right the ship. Cosatu proposed to cut the power utility's R450 billion debt by R250 billion, by getting aid from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). This would be done through the establishment of a special purpose finance vehicle, and could also prevent potential job losses at the power utility, the federation said....