Eskom secures 15bn loan

Johannesburg – Eskom will this week sign for a R15bn loan facility with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to fund part of its build programme, the power utility said on Wednesday.

Eskom said the funds would be disbursed over a five-year period, during which it anticipates a power crunch due to rising power demand in the country.

It said the financing deal would be signed on Thursday.

The government has said South Africa plans to spend R800bn in the next few years to expand power infrastructure.

“This loan facility is expected to increase the base load generating capacity to keep up with growing demand whilst generating a combined total output of approximately 9 000 megawatts,” Eskom said on Wednesday.

A power crisis in 2008 shut down mines and other industries, costing billions in lost output. Officials have warned of rolling blackouts from 2011 to 2016, unless extraordinary measures are taken to generate more power.

Eskom supplies 95% of the country’s power and 45% of Africa’s electricity, most of which is generated in coal-fired plants built more than two decades ago.

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