Ask Nedbank Group CEO Mike Brown how to save beleaguered Eskom and his approach is simple: first, give it cash and then consider a debt-to-equity swap later.

Eskom is paying so much in interest on its debt — at the same time that its income is falling — that the company is struggling to keep the country’s lights on. To ease the firm’s cash-flow woes, the government is planning a R230bn bailout. While the state initially wanted to spread that over 10 years, a significant portion is now being expedited, with details expected from National Treasury on July 23.

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