Ramaphosa: Eskom will not be privatised

Contrary to what some have claimed, restructuring Eskom will not result in the privatisation of the state-owned power utility, President Cyril Ramaphosa told Parliament on Thursday.

In response to a question, he said the main benefit of the unbundling of Eskom will be to improve the state-owned power utility's financial management and ability to raise funding as well as transparency and being able to mitigate and distribute risks and strengthen incentives for efficiency.

"The process will enable greater management attention to be focused on turning around the different parts of the business and enhance accountability," said Ramaphosa.
"In the longer term, the restructuring of Eskom will position the electricity sector to embrace new technologies, distributed generation and respond to other changes taking place in the electricity sector."
In his view, it will help to diversify the generation of electricity across a multitude of power producers, thereby reducing the country's reliance on a single supplier.

He said it will lead to greater competition in the electricity market that is expected to drive improvements in efficiency and put downward pressure on prices.
"It will allow lenders to separately fund the different components of the business, allowing debt to be priced more tightly, as it more accurately reflects the unique risks of each individual business," said Ramaphosa.

Leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane told Ramaphosa that everyone knows the SACP and Cosatu have already said the unbundling of Eskom will not happen.

"You know nothing will happen unless the SACP and Cosatu agree," said Maimane.