Last night, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered his state of the nation address at parliament which has received mixed reactions across the board. This year’s SONA was President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second.
State-owned enterprises, access to higher education, women abuse, unemployment and the revival of the economy were among the key issues that were raised during the SONA speech. The SONA proceeded quite peacefully throughout it’s duration, with no disruption from members of parliament, particular the red side of it, unlike in recent times.
Perhaps the Eskom funding announcement raised a few eye-brows. During the SONA, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that parliament will urgently table a special appropriations bill to allocate a ‘significant portion’ of the R230bn in fiscal support that struggling power utility Eskom requires. It was not mentioned what portion in monetary terms would be allocated.
He said Eskom only has sufficient cash to meet its obligations until the end of October 2019. Eskom supplies over 90% of all South Africa’s electricity demands, yet the ailing state-owned entity power utility are struggling to generate the revenue to make a profit, neither pay off the interest on it’s mounting debt burden swhich, according to reports, is approaching R500bn.
During the SONA, Ramaphosa said the special appropriations bill had to be implemented because “Eskom is too vital to our economy to be allowed to fail”.
He said that further details would be provided by the minister of finance.