US tech company threatens Eskom withdrawal

Johannesburg – US-based tech company Oracle is threatening to withdraw its services from Eskom, after the power utility disputed what it owes the company.

The price that had originally been set at R7-billion has now been reduced to below R400-million, but Eskom says its actual debt is R166-million.

Eskom spokesperson, Sikhonathi Mantshantsha, said the utility has a binding contract with the tech company until 31 March 2022.

“Eskom is within its rights to pursue its rights under that contract and to continue to ask the courts to compel Oracle to continue providing the services that they have been contracted for,” he said.

Meanwhile, energy analyst, Roger Lilley said South Africans are literally paying the price of Eskom’s debt.

Eskom needs R10-billion. The parastatal is hoping to recover from customers with its 15.6% tariff hike.

According to Lilley, Eskom won’t be able to cope and is likely to ask for another government bailout.

“Part of Eskom’s structure is the payment of an enormous loan,” he said.

He said the utility owes bankers, both locally and internationally, an amount of R460-billion and are paying towards that amount, monthly.

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