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Transmission & Distribution News

Ghana power producers say plan to save costs carries hefty bill

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 Ghana’s plans to stop paying for power that it doesn’t consume may cost the country as much as $2-billion in upfront claims. Private operators will not accept Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s proposal to renegotiate agreements and will demand the full payment of their contracts’ termination... 

Mantashe expects IRP to go before Cabinet next week

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2019 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says he expects the long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to be considered for approval by Cabinet at its next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday September 18. The IRP has not been updated since the IRP2010 was officially... 

Mantashe expects IRP to go before Cabinet next week

More people refusing to pay their electricity bills

By: Kim Cloete     10th September 2019 Eskom is facing an uphill battle in Soweto, in Gauteng, as well as in other municipalities, where people are increasingly refusing to pay for electricity, with a sharp drop in payments since last year. The picture is particularly bad in Soweto, where Eskom staff also face a risk of violence. 

Parliament briefed on Eskom's continuing financial challenges 

By: Kim Cloete     10th September 2019 Eskom’s debt is reaching R450-billion, with no signs of letting up as borrowing increases, revenue remains flat and municipalities renege on their commitments even further, Parliament has heard. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza outlined... 

Pravin Gordhan and Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Pravin Gordhan and Jabu Mabuza

Uganda seeks $3.5bn in private money for power transmission

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Uganda is seeking $3.5-billion in private investment to expand its power-transmission network in attempt to curb spending without slowing its economic growth. Liberalizing transmission will provide additional resources needed to transmit power from new generation projects including the 600 MW... 

Moody’s says fixing Eskom is complex, will take time

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Fixing loss-making power utility Eskom Holdings is complex and it will take time for the government and the company to agree to a plan, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The energy firm, which supplies about 95% of the country’s power, has R450-billion of debt and is surviving on state... 

Moody’s says fixing Eskom is complex, will take time

S&P's advice to South Africa: Beware what you say about Eskom debt

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2019 Talks around restructuring Eskom Holdings’ bonds must be approached carefully to avoid spooking the market, according to S&P Global Ratings. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday the government will consult with the power utility’s debt holders on any reorganization and that... 

S&P's advice to South Africa: Beware what you say about Eskom debt

Korea electricity utility offers knowledge and equipment to South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     6th September 2019 National utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) stands ready to provide electricity and equipment services in South Africa as part of its goal of growing its export business, Kepco small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and start-up VP Kwang-Soo Hwang said on Thursday. The utility has... 

Eskom confident of avoiding load-shedding 

6th September 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Natasha Odendaal about the state of South Africa’s electricity system and whether the country faces more load-shedding over the summer months. 

Eskom confident of avoiding load-shedding
Eskom confident of avoiding load-shedding

South Africa to consult Eskom debt holders on reorganisation  

By: Bloomberg     5th September 2019 South Africa’s government is intent on putting embattled state power company Eskom Holdings back on a sustainable footing and will consult with its debt holders on any reorganisation, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said. “I think the market understands that we are going to run a fair... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Eskom confident of avoiding summer load-shedding but does not rule it out  

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2019 State-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday said it was unlikely that there would be any load-shedding over the next seven months as the utility’s generation performance was starting to improve. The embattled utility had managed to avoid load-shedding for 164 consecutive days, with an average... 

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Plant maintenance can trigger load-shedding, Eskom warns   

By: News24Wire      4th September 2019 Eskom will attempt to avoid load-shedding in the coming summer months, the power utility said on Wednesday. It has now been 164 days since the last bout of load-shedding. However, plant maintenance which often takes place during the summer time may trigger outages, the utility said as it... 

Eskom chairperson & acting CEO Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson & acting CEO Jabu Mabuza

Electricity issues a major constraint on investment – Mantashe  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th September 2019 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has urged continued foreign investment into the country’s resources sector, saying that the government is actively working to address electricity issues, which have constrained economic growth. Speaking on the sidelines of... 

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe at the Africa Downunder conference in Perth.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe at the Africa Downunder conference in Perth.

Eskom breakup could begin with spin-off of transmission unit

By: Bloomberg     3rd September 2019 South Africa, under pressure to save loss-making power utility Eskom Holdings, should quicken the process of spinning off one of its units as a first step toward overhauling its operating structure, according to two people familiar with the options being presented to the government. Eskom, which... 

Molefe coughing up the money bit by bit, Solidarity says

By: African News Agency      3rd September 2019 Solidarity’s legal team today gave yet another urgent instruction to the sheriff to proceed with the seizure of Brian Molefe’s property to pay the outstanding legal costs of approximately another R200 000 owed to Solidarity in terms of a court order. “Molefe is running out of time. So far, he... 

Eskom appoints Mandla Maleka interim group treasurer

By: African News Agency      2nd September 2019 Mandla Maleka has been appointed Eskom interim group treasurer following the end of Andre Pillay’s tenure with the company on August 30, the State-owned electricity utility said on Sunday. Maleka joined Eskom in 1999 after serving as a director in the National Treasury budget office, Eskom said... 

Tesla batteries are keeping Zimbabwe’s economy running

By: Bloomberg     2nd September 2019 Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla to help them pay their bills. Amid power outages of as long as 18 hours a day, Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile-phone operator, is turning to the Palo Alto, California-based automaker and storable-energy company for batteries that can keep its base... 

‘Too big to fail’ makes Eskom debt a good bet in low-yield world  

By: Bloomberg     2nd September 2019 South Africa’s pledge not to let Eskom Holdings fail is enticing yield-starved investors to the company’s dollar debt. Bondholders from New York to Seoul say they’re happy to hold onto the power company’s securities – and in some cases add to their holdings – because of their extra return... 

‘Too big to fail’ makes Eskom debt a good bet in low-yield world

Eskom says Medupi station's last unit synchronised to the grid

By: African News Agency      28th August 2019 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says its Medupi coal-fired power station in Limpopo has produced first power out of its last unit. In a statement late on Tuesday, Eskom said Unit 1 attained 190MW earlier in the day, making it the last of Medupi's six units to be synchronised to the national... 

Medupi Power Station
Medupi Power Station

Eskom tells senior managers unit separation to take 3 to 5 years

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2019 Eskom Holdings, the South African power utility struggling with almost $30-billion in debt, said it will take as long as three to five years to comply with the government’s plan to split the company into three separate units. President Cyril Ramaphosa said in February that the company would be... 

Eskom chairperson and interim CEO Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson and interim CEO Jabu Mabuza

South Africa to seek budget spending cuts as debt climbs 

By: Bloomberg     22nd August 2019 South Africa is seeking to cut government budgets as it moves to contain debt after promising billions of rands to rescue its power utility and a weak economy damps tax collection. The National Treasury has asked departments to prepare proposals on how to reduce expenditure in a way that has the... 

Mantashe sees unions backing Eskom rescue 

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2019 South African labour unions that oppose the government’s plans to split embattled State-owned power utility Eskom Holdings into three units will ultimately have to support the reforms, according to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Eskom, which supplies about 95% of the... 

IMF rumours may be the scare South Africa needs

By: Bloomberg     20th August 2019 The threat of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, unthinkable a few years ago, may force South Africa’s government to push through the reforms it needs to rescue the economy. An expanded bailout for struggling power utility Eskom Holdings and calls from other State companies for support... 

IMF rumours may be the scare South Africa needs

Loadshedding: 25% of Zim's import bill is for diesel in bid to keep the lights on

By: News24Wire      19th August 2019 A least 25% of Zimbabwe's import bill for the month of June was for diesel, latest figures from ZimStats have shown. This is higher than the 15% average for the last couple of years. The increase in diesel imports come at a time Zimbabwe has been facing protracted power crisis characterised by... 

Loadshedding: 25% of Zim's import bill is for diesel in bid to keep the lights on

Ramaphosa’s dependence on the left stymies South African reforms 

By: Bloomberg     15th August 2019 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is hamstrung by politics and the economy is suffering the consequences. His narrow win to become leader of the ruling African National Congress in December 2017 has left him dependent on the left -- the unions and the South African Communist Party that are... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Former Eskom executives seek South Africa's toughest CEO job

By: Bloomberg     14th August 2019 The chief executive role at Eskom Holdings, considered the most challenging job in corporate South Africa, is attracting interest from people who know how difficult turning around the debt-ridden state utility will be. Andy Calitz, the former CEO of LNG Canada, who started his career as an... 

Foreigners dumping South African bonds as junk status looms

By: Bloomberg     14th August 2019 Investors have been dumping South African government bonds at a rate of almost R2-billion a day in August. With issuance increasing and a downgrade to junk a looming possibility, non residents have sold a net 14.4 billion rand of the debt in August so far, according to JSE data compiled by... 

Kganyago spurns talk of South Africa needing IMF aid

By: Bloomberg     8th August 2019 South Africa’s finances haven’t deteriorated to such an extent that the nation needs to tap support from the International Monetary Fund, and the government can avoid getting to that point, Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago said. Reports in the media and by analysts have speculated South... 

Joburg city launches Wilro park substation upgrade

By: African News Agency      8th August 2019 The City of Johannesburg on Thursday relaunched the Wilro Park substation after it underwent a R131-million refurbishment. Mayor Herman Mashaba said a stable power supply means a greater chance of business growth in communities, leading to the creation of much needed jobs and growth of the local... 

Eskom to resume replacing transformers in Ivory Park

By: Simone Liedtke     7th August 2019 State-owned Eskom has confirmed that it is ready to resume with operations to replace failed transformers in Ivory Park, in Johannesburg. The failing transformers are owing to illegal connections and meter bypasses, which resulted in network overloading, the utility said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Demand sags at record South African bond sale to help fund Eskom 

By: Bloomberg     6th August 2019 Demand at South Africa’s weekly bond auction fell after the country raised issuance to a record, partly to fund the rescue of troubled State-owned company Eskom Holdings. Traders placed R10.3-billion rand of orders, or 2.3 times the R4.53-billion rand of securities on sale, at the scheduled... 

South Africa has no political will, biggest business lobby says

By: Bloomberg     6th August 2019 South Africa’s biggest business lobby criticized the government’s handling of the crisis at power utility Eskom Holdings and said it was unrealistic in its approach to the country’s growing debt burden, marking a sharp break with its largely silent approach to the nation’s economic malaise in... 

Busa president Sipho Pityana
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Busa president Sipho Pityana

South African yields climb as bond-sale amounts raised for Eskom

By: Bloomberg     31st July 2019 South African government yields climbed and the rand pared an advance after the National Treasury said it will increase the amount of debt sold at weekly bond auctions to help fund a bailout of the State-owned electricity company and counter a tax revenue shortfall. Starting on August 6, the... 

Eskom’s debt-servicing costs to surge to R84bn as it warns of another R20bn loss

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2019 State-owned electricity producer Eskom’s debt-servicing costs are set to surge to a whopping R84-billion in 2019/20, from a record R69-billion last year, amid a R441-billion-and-rising debt burden, declining sales and increasing costs. At R31-billion, the utility’s earnings before interest, tax,... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom acting CEO Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom acting CEO Jabu Mabuza

Nomvalo to lead creation of Eskom CRO 'office' as search for new CEO intensifies

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Tuesday that Freeman Nomvalo, who is currently CEO at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), has agreed to assist government in the establishment of a Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) office at debt-laden power... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Mabuza appointed acting CEO at struggling Eskom 

By: Reuters     29th July 2019 Jabu Mabuza has been appointed acting CE of troubled power utility Eskom following a board meeting on Monday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said. "I have informed the Eskom annual general meeting this afternoon of my decision to appoint Mr Jabu Mabuza as the interim executive... 

Jabu Mabuza
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Jabu Mabuza

Foreigners sell rand assets at record pace as Eskom woes mount

By: Bloomberg     29th July 2019 Foreigners are ditching South African assets at the fastest pace on record as concern mounts that the government will lose its last investment-grade rating. Overseas investors have sold a net $4.8-billion of South African equities and bonds in 2019, the most on a year-to-date basis in data going... 

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