From Eskom to overall expenditure: Tito Mboweni's big budget announcements

21 February 2019 - 09:53 By Odwa Mjo
During his budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday, finance minister Tito Mboweni revealed plans for troubled state-owned entities and investing in education.
During his budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday, finance minister Tito Mboweni revealed plans for troubled state-owned entities and investing in education.
Image: Ruvan Boshoff

Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday came with major announcements and revelations. From saving Eskom to the SABC’s woes and expenditure over the next three years, here’s the big news.

Listen to further analysis of the budget here:

Eskom 

The government’s plan to “save” Eskom was the big news everyone was waiting for. Mboweni revealed that the troubled power utility will receive a R150bn bailout over the next 10 years. 

In the budget, R23bn a year will be allocated to Eskom over the next three years.

As part of the bailout, the ministers of finance and public enterprises will have to  appoint a chief reorganisation officer to implement the recommendations of the Eskom task team appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Business Day reported.

SABC’s R6,8bn request

During his speech, Mboweni revealed that the government plans to tighten rules around granting loans to troubled state-owned entities and intends to place them under administration when they request a loan from National Treasury.

The public broadcaster has requested a R6,8bn bailout from the government, Mboweni revealed at a media briefing in Parliament ahead of the budget speech, Business Day reported. 

In 2018, the SABC requested a R3bn bailout from the government to stay afloat and to be able to pay salaries.

Mboweni said a restructuring officer will need to be appointed to the SABC should a request for a loan be granted. The finance minister also noted the need to address the duplication of radio stations at the SABC.

Big spending plans 

The government is planning to spend R5,8tn in the next three years. Mboweni said R1,2tn will go towards education, R717bn to public health and about R900bn to social development over three years. 

The funds allocated towards education include R2,4bn towards doing away with pit-latrine toilets, R30bn towards building new schools and maintaining the infrastructure of existing schools, and R111bn to fund the tertiary education of 2,8 million “deserving students”.

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