'Permanent optimist' Nene hopes for the best
From Eskom to public service wages, former minister warns of risks
Eskom, with its contingent liability of R250-billion, could be the biggest risk to South Africa's economy, says former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.The debt didn't keep him awake at night when he was the finance minister because "it was on a sustainable basis. We knew that it would be able to service its debt."There is no such comfort now, he says."With all the things that have been happening at Eskom, I think as a country we should be concerned. We do need to get Eskom's house in order."Given the size of its exposure to Eskom, the government's response to the crisis there has not filled him with confidence."Government has to be firmer on how Eskom manages its affairs. Because of that exposure. You can't have that much exposure and government doesn't agree on what to do."The options are desperately limited. Going to the bond market is not one of them, he says. "That depends on how creditworthy you are, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done to clean up Eskom's image in ...
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