Special Appropriation Bill for Eskom on track

Special Appropriation Bill for Eskom on track
15 Jul 2019

The Special Appropriation Bill to make available additional funding for Eskom will be tabled on 23 July 2019.

The finance minister, Tito Mboweni announced this during national treasury’s 2019 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.

He confirmed that Eskom presented the biggest risk to the fiscal framework due to its “financial problems and negative impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans”.

“Given the high risks to the economy of a systemic failure if Eskom were to collapse, government is urgently working on stabilizing the utility, while developing a broad strategy for its future.”

Eskom’s chief restructuring officer will be appointed soon as the terms of reference and scope of work have been drawn up.

The minister also pointed out that, once the Appropriation Bill, currently before parliament, is passed and signed into law, additional financial support will be provided to state-owned enterprises (SOE), in particular, South African Airways, South African Broadcasting Corporation and Denel.

However, the minister stressed that recurring financial support to SOEs cannot continue.

A Green Paper is to be drawn up, culminating in a White Paper, outlining a broad strategic framework for SOEs going forward that will “deal with the future that government expects SOEs to play in a fast-changing micro and macro-economic environment.”

Other legislation in the pipeline includes a new Procurement Bill providing for a single overarching legal framework for public procurement in South Africa and amendments to the SARS Act flowing from governance, oversight and organisational recommendations put forward by the Nugent Commission.

To set the South African economy on the right path, the minister indicated that government needed to focus on “those actions and policy choices that will produce strong positive results for economic activities, through attracting investments and making it easier for South Africans to operate businesses, especially entrepreneurs”.

Meanwhile, the standing committee on appropriations has called for comment on proposed amendments and technical corrections to the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

According to the invitation, the amendment relates to the authorisation of R17.652 billion to Eskom and technical corrections tabled by the finance minister to give effect to the revised Cabinet portfolios announced by president Ramaphosa on 29 May 2019 during the State of the Nation Address.

Comment is invited until 18 July 2019.

See also: President Ramaphosa calls for new social compact

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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