‘Serious’ measures taken to avoid downgrade


ESKOM, noting that Fitch has placed it on a rating watch negative, is working to avert a downgrade. “Fitch has placed Eskom’s long-term local currency issuer default rating (IDR) and unguaranteed local currency senior unsecured ratings of ‘BB+’ on rating watch negative (RWN),” Eskom said on Friday.

The agency has affirmed the government-guaranteed local currency senior unsecured debt ratings at ‘BB+’ and placed the long-term rating of ‘AAA’ and short-term rating of ‘F1+’ on RWN. Eskom’s interim group chief executive Sean Maritz said the support the entity has received from the minister of Public Enterprises to finalise remaining appointments  to the board of directors will demonstrate commitment to enhance Eskom’s corporate governance structure.

“We remain focused on improving corporate governance to address liquidity challenges in the near term to avert a downgrade. “We note the decision by Fitch to place Eskom’s IDR on RWN and this reflects the need for the ratings’ agency  to assess Eskom’s links to the government, given weakening liquidity and funding access.

“Eskom is confident that the liquidity challenges it faces will be resolved and the funding initiatives planned until the end of the financial year will alleviate the pressure,” the utility’s acting chief financial officer, Calib Cassim, said.


-Refilwe Magashule