South Africans react to huge R59b Eskom bailout: ‘Looting before our very eyes’

Image credit: Flickr/GovernmentZA

Most South Africans on social media have expressed outrage at yet another bailout for struggling power utility Eskom, with some describing it as “looting of the state.”

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni introduced a Special Appropriation Bill in Parliament on Tuesday to authorise a massive R59 billion bailout for Eskom.

Mboweni warned that the bailout could result in higher debt levels as revenue is expected to be lower than initially thought.

Fin24 reports that the Rand and government bonds weakened slightly in response to fears that the bailout could spark a credit rating downgrade.

On social media, some South Africans lamented that this massive bailout amounts to “looting.”

Popular Senior Counsel Vuyani Ngalwana opined that no amounts of bailouts will save Eskom.

Others felt taxpayers are being punished for the alleged corruption at Eskom that has been widely reported on over the years.

Why must Eskom keep getting bail outs from the State? R59 Billion in two years? Why must the taxpayer be punished for Eskom’s deliberate calculated wasteful expenditure? Why is Eskom failing to recover looted billions from Guptas & Co, Koko, Brian Molefe and Dr Ngubane?

Twitter user @qipmedia

Another commenter even referred to the bailout as “organised crime at its best” and suggested that electricity should be free.

I totally oppose the bailout for ESKOM, as tax payers we bailout SOEs like ESKOM and we still have to pay for electricity. Organised crime at its best, electricity should be 100% free because our tax bails them out every year.

Twitter user Sphamandla Makhathini

However, some felt that the Eskom situation is a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

They argued that if Eskom failed, the risk of a credit rating downgrade would be even higher and the consequences far greater.

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