CAROL PATON: Whichever way the Eskom problem is solved, the taxpayer is the loser
The government’s social partners have showed strong commitment to tackling the challenges at the power supplier
There is only one entity that can take on R250bn of Eskom debt to service and repay — and that is the SA government. As we know, this means us, the taxpayers. That is the plain and horrible truth and there is no way around it.
The Cosatu proposal that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and a consortium of government development finance institutions buy this debt for a zero return — in other words, give Eskom a great big donation — can never fly. It would not be allowed by the rules of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), which would be the source of the bulk of the money and which must invest, like all other pension funds, with the intention to realise a return for members.