Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Opposition parties have expressed concern over the lack of conditions imposed on the R59bn allocation over two years to Eskom announced on Tuesday by finance minister Tito Mboweni.

In terms of the Special Appropriation Bill introduced into the National Assembly by Mboweni, the Treasury will allocate R26bn to Eskom for the 2019/2020 financial year and R33bn for the 2020/2021 financial year. This allocation is in addition to the R23bn allocated in the February budget for 2019/2020 and each year for 10 years, giving a total of R230bn

The bill states that the minister may impose conditions to be met by Eskom before any part of the money is transferred; he must impose conditions after the transfer of any amount; and must stop any further transfers if these conditions are not met.

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DA finance spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis said the DA would not support the Treasury budget vote because of the lack of conditions imposed on the Eskom bailout.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart opposed the budget vote on public enterprises for the same reason. “There will be few incentives for Eskom to change its ways if it can access cash from the Treasury on an ongoing basis. It cannot have a blank cheque.”

Both budget votes were adopted on the basis of the unanimous support of the majority ANC MPs.