(Bloomberg) -- Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said it is keeping a limited stock of diesel “carefully preserved for dire emergencies” as South Africa remains short of power supply and the utility searches for cash to buy more of the fuel. 

Eskom won’t be able to run turbines that have a capacity of about 2,000 megawatts because it has already spent its budget for diesel, it said in a reply to questions. The electric company lacks funds to run the units in order to avoid or minimize power cuts for the rest of the financial year.

The Department of Public Enterprises, which oversees state-owned Eskom, said earlier that it’s urgently working with National Treasury and the utility to find money for diesel.  

‘Erratic’ Power Cuts to Continue Until Further Notice (Nov. 21, 5:20 p.m.)

Eskom will implement various stages of power cuts with 4,000 megawatts to be removed from the national grid from 4 p.m. to midnight daily starting Monday and 2,000 megawatts from 5 a.m. until 4 p.m. until further notice, the utility said on Twitter. 

 

Netcare’s Diesel Cost Quadruples on South African Power Cuts (Nov. 21, 3:55 p.m.)

Diesel costs have quadrupled at Netcare Ltd., South Africa’s largest private health-care network, which has to ensure its hospitals keep the lights on and equipment runs continuously amid worsening power cuts. 

The cost of energy shortages is weighing heavily on the country’s biggest companies. While South Africa has battled electricity shortages since 2008, breakdowns at plants operated by Eskom reached new levels in October.

South Africa Arrests Suspect Over Bomb Threat to Eskom Executive (Nov. 19, 2:11 p.m.)

South African police arrested a 27-year-old man linked with a bomb threat against Jan Oberholzer, chief operating officer of Eskom.

The police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, and private investigators found “overwhelming evidence” linking the man with a threatening message sent to Oberholzer using an unregistered sim card in May, Eskom said in a statement Saturday. The suspect, arrested on Friday in the northeastern province of Mpumalanga, will remain in custody, before appearing in court next week. 

S&P Sees South Africa Avoiding Distressed Exchange of Eskom Debt (Nov. 19, 11:39 a.m.)

S&P Global Ratings expects South Africa’s government to fulfill its commitments to investors in Eskom as it finalizes a plan to tackle the state-owned utility’s massive debt burden.  

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said last month the government may shift between one-third and two-thirds of the power company’s debt of about 400 billion rand ($23.2 billion) onto its own balance sheet and attach strict conditions to the relief. Details, including the quantum and terms, of the transfer are expected to be announced in February’s budget. 

--With assistance from Janice Kew.

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