Eskom to spend R10 bln on road repairs: paper

South African power utility Eskom plans to spend about R10 billion to repair roads servicing its power stations between 2011 and 2015, the Business Day newspaper reported today.

The paper said Eskom had indicated in its application for a tariff increase that the transportation of coal to its power stations had worsened the condition of some roads, posing a threat to the security and continuity of power supplies.
"The cost of the road repairs over the period 2011 and 2015 is estimated at about 10 billion rand. The repair of these roads is critical to ensure security of coal delivery and therefore security of supply," the paper quoted the utility as saying in its application document.
In September, Eskom submitted an application for it to be able to raise tariffs by 45% each year for the next three years or by 146% in one go.
It was due to submit a final tariff rise request to the power regulator by end-November, incorporating suggestions from the government and municipalities.
Eskom has said it needs the tariff increases to raise money for its 385 billion rand power supply expansion programme, needed to meet fast-rising power demand in Africa’s biggest economy.
Apart from the tariff increase, the utility has said it would rely on borrowing and government loans to fund its expansion programme.