BizBriefing: PIC gives Eskom a helping hand, SA pays to secure access to Covid-19 vaccine, Zondo hears from EOH

By Melani Nathan

  • The Public Investment Corporation, Africa’s biggest fund manager, is willing to help South African power utility Eskom Holdings resolve its debt crisis, says Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. He added that most of the bonds are already held by the PIC. Eskom’s debt had ballooned to R488bn at the end of March. The utility’s finances have deteriorated despite the government having given it R188bn in bailouts over the past decade.
  • South Africa has paid R500mn to the Covax programme, which supplies low- and middle-income countries with proven Covid-19 vaccines to ensure equitable access around the world, according to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. The minister said he will find a further R4.5bn from the budget to make sure South Africa has an adequate supply and is at “the front of the queue” when vaccines become available. The global Covax alliance has raised more than $2bn and secured deals for around 700 million doses so far.
  • The Zondo commission has heard how EOH group CEO Stephen van Coller prioritised clean governance at the IT services company. Van Coller shared details about the state in which he found EOH Holdings when he was appointed group CEO in 2018. Tender fraud, irregular procurement processes and wasteful expenditure were the order of the day. However, Van Coller roped in the help of a forensic company and government agencies to implement a phenomenal turnaround which saw EOH returning funds to government departments which had been paid fraudulently. Visit BizNews.com for more.
  • South African business confidence jumped to the highest level in more than two years in the fourth quarter as further easing of lockdown restrictions spurred a resurgence in activity but economic risks could weigh on sentiment in the new year. A quarterly gauge measuring the business mood rose to 40 from 24 in the previous three months, according to Rand Merchant Bank. That’s the highest level since the second quarter of 2018, when the index that is compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research, also measured 40.The improvement adds to data that suggests Africa’s most-industrialized economy is past the worst point in the virus-driven downturn, when output contracted by an annualized 51% and 2.2 million jobs were lost in the second quarter.

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