The Democratic Alliance will oppose any further taxpayer funded bailouts to Eskom should Finance Minister Enoch Gondongwana announce such measures in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement to be tabled later this year.

In his address last night, President Ramaphosa stated that “National Treasury is working to finalise a sustainable solution to Eskom’s debt. The Minister of Finance will outline how government will deal with this matter in an effective manner when he presents the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in October.

The last time such a pronouncement was made, it resulted in the state providing Eskom with R59-billion over three years through a Special Appropriation Bill, starting in 2019. This was in addition to the main budget providing Eskom with R20-billion a year over ten years. Furthermore, in February 2022, it was announced Eskom would be given an additional R21,9-billion.

The state has created an untenable situation where Eskom mismanagement has been rewarded constantly with taxpayers forking out cash that should be spent on public services. This means that citizens of South Africa pay twice for energy – through their electricity bills, and again through their taxes.

For this reason, the DA will vigorously oppose any planned bailout to Eskom in the coming financial years. Eskom is in its financial mess through years of ANC corruption, and the DA’s position is that Eskom debt should be funded through the privatization of generating capacity rather than through bailouts that deprive South African’s of quality public services, without having any effect on keeping the lights on.

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Ashor Sarupen

Ashor Sarupen is the Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister for Appropriations.

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