Cash-strapped power utility Eskom is evaluating bids for its finance company that specialises in mortgage lending to employees, its spokesman said on Friday.
State-run Eskom is scrambling to keep the lights on in Africa's most advanced economy and has been implementing frequent controlled power cuts to prevent the grid from collapsing under the weight of electricity demand.
"Eskom is currently evaluating bids for the sale of its non-core subsidiary Eskom Finance Company (EFC)," the utility's spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said on Twitter, adding the firm could not give further details until the process was completed.
"The proposed sale of EFC has been on the cards for years," Phasiwe said.
The sale of Eskom's mortgage business would be the first major privatisation deal under President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has made revamping State-owned firms like Eskom a top priority.
The government said as far back as 2015 that it was considering divesting some Eskom assets, but the proposal was vehemently opposed by trade unions.
Eskom, which supplies more than 90% of South Africa's power, faces a funding crunch as it races to bring new power plants online to stave off an electricity crisis.
Last week, the power firm said it wanted the government to take on R100-billion of its total borrowings of R420-billion, a move Ramaphosa said on Thursday was not an option as it would cause the country's debt to balloon.