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Parliament Seeks Comment on Special Appropriation Bill

August 30, 2019

Standing Committee on Appropriations

30 August 2019

The Standing Committee on Appropriations has called for comment on the Special Appropriation Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament on 23 July 2019.

It is designed to make available additional funding for Eskom.

Speaking in July during treasury’s budget vote, the finance minister, Tito Mboweni, indicated 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,” he declared.

The bill aims to:

• appropriate an additional amount of money for the requirements of the Department of Public Enterprises to assist Eskom Holdings SOC Limited with its financial obligations and to provide for matters connected therewith.

R59 billion will be appropriated out of the National Revenue Fund over the next two years, R26 billion in the current financial year and R33 billion for the 2020/21 financial year to “assist Eskom with its financial obligations”.

The bill stipulates that the finance minister may impose conditions on Eskom to be met prior to transfer of the funds and must impose conditions to be met by Eskom after the transfer of any part of the amount.

Public hearings on the bill will be held in parliament on 11 September 2019.

Comment is invited until 6 September 2019.

Meanwhile, national treasury, in Government Gazette 42677, has published an amendment to the notice of commencement of the Financial Sector Regulation Act published in Notice 657 in May 2019.

In the latest notice, paragraph (b) is amended in that “1 October 2020” now applies to paragraph (a)(v) and “1 April 2020” applies to paragraph (b).