Fellow columnist Claire Bisseker made the point on Tuesday that the way the Treasury accounted for its support for Eskom in the recent budget hides the true extent of the damage to the fiscus (“Budgetary sleight-of-hand hides true fiscal picture (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/columnists/2023-02-28-claire-bisseker-budgetary-sleight-of-hand-hides-true-fiscal-picture/)”, February 28). I agree with her and would like to expand on the point she made.

The Treasury accounted for the transfer to the entity below the line, that is after reporting the fiscal deficit. According to officials, the transaction is seen as just a balance sheet transfer. The government records an asset by way of a loan to Eskom and a liability in the form of the debt it has incurred. New assets offset new liabilities and the net position is unchanged...

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