Eskom’s gross debt surges to R480 billion

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s gross debt surged to 480 billion rand ($29 billion), after the struggling state-owned power utility borrowed from its lines of credit, documents seen by Bloomberg show.

The increase, from a previously disclosed level of 454 billion rand, comes as the company struggles to meet running costs, including a debt-service bill, despite a government bailout.

Inadequate maintenance of its aging power plants led to rolling nationwide blackouts earlier this month.

Over the past year, Eskom clinched a 15 billion-rand syndicated loan with commercial banks, a 7 billion-rand loan from the China Development Bank and a 5 billion-rand facility from South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., the documents show.

Eskom declined to comment on a query about its debt level.

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Eskom’s gross debt surges to R480 billion