| Eskom: We are not restructuring debt

Eskom has fired back at reports that it is restructuring or extending its debt, or that it is planning to cut up to 15 000 jobs.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the cash-strapped state-owned power company was considering asking for extensions on some debt, as well as laying off staff, as it grappled with its finances.

Eskom noted the reports “with concern”, it said in a statement.

“We remain committed to executing our approved borrowing programme,” said Andre Pillay, Group Treasurer at Eskom. 

“Eskom plans to raise an amount of R72bn in the current financial year, of which 23% (R16.4bn) has already been secured, and the company is at advanced stages of ensuring that the funding requirement for the current financial year is fulfilled in a timely manner,” Pillay added.

He did not elaborate on the details of the strategy.

‘New corporate plan‘

The power utility was working on a “new corporate plan”, the statement added, which would “provide direction on how the company is expected to look going forward, and what its role will be in both the domestic and continental energy markets”.

The review of the corporate plan was expected to be complete by the end of 2018, Eskom said.

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Cost cutting

On job cuts, the company said it was looking into “various options of reducing its cost base”. 

It said this included “optimising its operational expenditure and capital investment programme”.

This would yield a net cost reduction of R100bn over the next five years, the statement said.

It had not as yet entered into any discussions with “trade unions and other stakeholders” about job cuts,” it added.

“Plans are underway to continue to engage the unions in ways of optimising the performance of the current workforce,” it said.  

Eskom has faced strikes in recent weeks after initially offering no increases due to financial constraints, which unions rejected.

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