June 22, 2018 / 8:35 AM / 3 months ago

Restructuring Eskom top of South Africa agenda-finmin Nene

LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Restructuring state-run power firm Eskom is “on top of the agenda” for South Africa, the country’s finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Friday, though he said recent outages likely had very little impact on the economy.

“It should be very minimal this time round, because...it also was related to the impasse in the industrial space,” Nene reporters on the sidelines of an Africa conference hosted by Standard Bank.

Discussions on wages with unions were continuing, he said

He added: “Beyond the discussions and the negotiations on the salaries, what is important is actually beginning to restructure Eskom....it is on top of our agenda to get Eskom on a sustainable platform.”

He also said South Africa needed to build up its fiscal buffers to be able to withstand any external shocks and that he expected the economy to expand at 1.5 percent in 2018 despite the surprise contraction in the first quarter. (Reporting by Karin Strohecker; editing by Sujata Rao)

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