Eskom took South Africa to the brink of collapse for 72 hours late in March

For three days from 26 March, Eskom nearly caused the economy of South Africa to collapse when it ran out of cash to meet its liabilities, wrote Daily Maverick’s Marianne Merten on Thursday.

Nobody seemed to notice, and those at the helm ensured it stayed that way.

Eskom got a stay of execution on 29 March with a R3 billion commercial loan from Absa – backed fully by Government.

If it wasn't for that emergency loan, Eskom probably would've become liable to immediately repay R281 billion of its R419 billion debt; thereby breaking fiscus.

To make matters worse; if the ailing utility defaults it could trigger the immediate demand for repayment of all government-guaranteed debt of the other state-owned companies.

Ray White (in for Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show) interviewed Merten.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for quotes from it).

We were literally there! It was gobsmacking… South Africa cannot afford for Eskom to default… it was close, it was very close…

Marianne Merten, Daily Maverick

It’s gobsmacking… the financial issues at Eskom are not new… it’s the most significant risk to South Africa…

Marianne Merten, Daily Maverick

It appears that Eskom… didn’t check whether the money was coming as anticipated by 26 March. That day arrived then, whoops! Panic!… How is it even possible that Eskom doesn’t know?...

Marianne Merten, Daily Maverick

We’ve had pushback from labour… I think there’s a lot of contested spaces within Eskom…

Marianne Merten, Daily Maverick

Our public finances are supporting Eskom… it does not anticipate generating sufficient cash… at any time over the next five years… our public finances will continue to be needed… That is a very serious situation…

Marianne Merten, Daily Maverick

Enjoy The Money Show, but miss it sometimes?

Get the best bits emailed to you daily, right after it ends:

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


This article first appeared on 702 : Eskom took South Africa to the brink of collapse for 72 hours late in March


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Bone-dry Makhanda (Grahamstown) is falling apart

Bone-dry Makhanda (Grahamstown) is falling apart

What is going on in bone-dry Makhanda (Grahamstown)? Bruce Whitfield interviews Jacko Maree (St Andrew's College).

Dis-Chem drives ad expert to 'Steve Hofmeyr-like assaults' on his decoder

Dis-Chem drives ad expert to 'Steve Hofmeyr-like assaults' on his decoder

"It’s been said you can’t bore people into buying your brand. Someone should’ve pointed this out to Dis-Chem," says Andy Rice.

Brilliant graduate gets 50% scholarship to study in France. Can you help?

Brilliant graduate gets 50% scholarship to study in France. Can you help?

Paris-Sorbonne University accepted Khumo Mampuru into its master’s in quantitative economics course, but he’s €12 000 short.

Standard Bank takes on Capitec Bank with low-fee account, gigabytes of free data

Standard Bank takes on Capitec Bank with low-fee account, gigabytes of free data

The account costs R4.95 per month; you get 1GB of free data. Swipe 4 times a month; you get 0.5GB of free data and R50 airtime.

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

William Mapham pioneered Vula Mobile, the app that links healthcare workers with on-call medical and surgical specialists.

Marketing is becoming the single most important key to success in small business

Marketing is becoming the single most important key to success in small business

'Marketing' is not 'sales'. It’s not noise. It's a science, and you must get it right, says Pavlo Phitidis.

Popular articles
Standard Bank takes on Capitec Bank with low-fee account, gigabytes of free data

Standard Bank takes on Capitec Bank with low-fee account, gigabytes of free data

The account costs R4.95 per month; you get 1GB of free data. Swipe 4 times a month; you get 0.5GB of free data and R50 airtime.

Rob Packham found guilty of wife's murder

Rob Packham found guilty of wife's murder

The Constantia businessman was arrested over the death of his wife, Gill, in February 2018.

Huawei users in SA told not to panic over Android ban

Huawei users in SA told not to panic over Android ban

Google is suspending its business relationship with Chinese smartphone manufacturer.

ANC national executive committee finalising top jobs list for Parliament

ANC national executive committee finalising top jobs list for Parliament

Former National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise is expected to be the next speaker of the National Assembly.

'History of contempt and pity runs through 100 years of research at SU'

'History of contempt and pity runs through 100 years of research at SU'

Stellenbosch University's Professor Jonathan Jansen describes universities' research history of racial tropes over past 100 years.

[LISTEN] 'I spent 12 years in jail for a murder I didn't commit'

[LISTEN] 'I spent 12 years in jail for a murder I didn't commit'

In 1990 Raphael Rowe was convicted and jailed for a murder he didn't commit. He shares his story with Sara-Jayne King.