Pros And Cons For Privatizing Eskom, One Of The World’s Largest Monopolies

By Dana Sanchez AFKI Original Published: May 18, 2015, 2:41 pm
Koeberg Nuclear Power Station

To privatize or not to privatize? It’s a polarizing topic when you’re talking about Eskom, South Africa’s massive — but struggling — state-run power utility.

Eskom generates almost all the electricity in South Africa, and nearly half that produced in all of sub-Saharan Africa. The utility is the largest electricity producer in Africa, among the top seven in the world for generation capacity and among the top nine in the world for sales. It operates the only nuclear power plant in Africa. That makes it arguably one of the world’s largest monopolies.

These days, electricity blackouts are common in South Africa as Eskom deals with the consequences of failing to maintain important infrastructure for the past 20 years, according to VOA. Billions of dollars are needed. Illegal hookups mean as much as 7 percent of the country’s electricity is stolen, according to BusinessTech.

Tasked with finding a solution to the crisis, the country’s treasury department is looking at several options including a proposal to partially privatize Eskom or sell some of its assets in order to secure further funding to expand generating capacity.

Here are some pros and cons in the case for privatizing Eskom.

Sources: TheAfricanReviewSouthAfric.infoFin24Democratic AllianceBusinessTech.

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