Now that President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a task-team to advise government on the restructuring of Eskom, it should expect unsolicited advice from the likes of us — mostly as concerned citizens and self-anointed experts in various fields. This should not be surprising as the current Eskom leadership members came up with a plan for the government to take up Eskom’s debt of R100bn. After nearly a year in charge, they were probably restricted by political sensitivities, as seems to be the norm in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The plan was subsequently rejected by the National Treasury and further admonished by ratings agency Moody’s. It was, after all, in addition to the existing guarantees to Eskom and other SOEs, with the country teetering on the brink of junk status. The president himself recently announced on radio that Eskom is, to date, indebted to the tune of up to R475bn. This is a huge gearing by any standard, and begs the question as to how it got there in the first ...

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