While public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan warns about the imminent demise of a bankrupt Eskom, the power utility is still not taking seriously the need to fix its liquidity problems, says Ronald Chauke, energy portfolio manager for the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa). "If leadership were serious about stopping the financial haemorrhaging it could minimise the impact of its debt by terminating irregular and illegal contracts," he says. This would be a quick save of about R15bn, but Eskom is still paying those contracts, he says. "It seems like they've decided to rather just let the Treasury and higher electricity tariffs bail them out." Chauke, who was head of department at the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) and director for public finance for energy at the National Treasury before being appointed to Outa, said if he were the regulator he wouldn't consider Eskom's tariff application unless it said how much money it would be recouping from the cancellation of cor...

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