The National Assembly voted in favor of a special allocation bill on Tuesday that allows a bailout of R59 billion to struggling Eskom.
The bill was approved by 200 votes to 105 with ANC MPs believing the bill is essential to keep the lights on. These MPs argued that many of them grew up in a “permanent state of loadshedding” due to past inequalities.
Others, however, were opposed to this bill.
Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, MP of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), said it was astonishing that MPs were asked to “throw money at the problem” after Eskom reportedly paid R4bn to suppliers too much.
Eskom is about R500bn in the red.
DA Ashor Sarupen said Eskom seems to be burning money instead of coal. “Every citizen is a hostage of Eskom. We are hostages to the power cuts that cause huge economic losses. We are hostages to their bail requirements. We are hostages to their endless management crises, ”says Sarupen.
Wouter Wessels, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson for finance, also expressed his dissatisfaction with the bill.
“Eskom’s debt is so large that any lifeline will mainly be used to service its debt and not to generate power. The question must therefore be asked whether another rescue budget of R59 billion in tax money will stop Eskom’s collapse and prevent further shedding if the R83 billion that has been deposited in Eskom since 2006 could not save him? ”
According to Wessels, power supply in South Africa must be deregulated. “There must be healthy competition so that private companies can become part of the solution. It borders on madness to repeat the same mistake over and over, as with this R59bn rescue package. ”
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled the bill in July this year to help Eskom meet its financial commitments for this year and next. This involves R26 billion in aid to Eskom in 2019 -20 and R33bn in 2020 -2021. This contributes to the R69 billion allocated to Eskom in the national budget in February this year.