Ramaphosa pours cold water on Tito’s power plant sale proposal

By Paul Vecchiatto

(Bloomberg) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa poured cold water on proposals by his Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that state power utility Eskom sell some of its power plants to help settle its debt.

“South Africa is not inherently in the business of selling power stations,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers in Cape Town on Thursday. Eskom’s new plants were its “crown jewels” and should be retained, while the old ones were unlikely to find buyers, he said.

In a policy paper published in August, Mboweni suggested that the sale of Eskom’s generating facilities could raise R450bn ($30bn), which equates to its entire debt.