S. Africa's Treasury, Absa Bail Out Eskom After China Loan Delay

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa was forced to pay 5 billion rand ($355 million) on April 2 to meet the obligations of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the South African state power utility with more than $30 billion in debt, after a loan from a Chinese bank failed to come through in time, the country’s Finance Minister said.

Those obligations included a 3 billion rand bridging loan from Absa Group Ltd., the minister said in a statement.

“Eskom is in deep trouble. It used to keep a cash buffer of 20 billion rand. That has gone,” Anton Eberhard, an adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Eskom, said on Twitter. “Right now it is barely surviving month to month, dependent on government bailouts and draw-downs from DFI loans. Time for government to get serious with financial and organizational restructuring.”

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