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CAPE TOWN, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The South African government may be forced to inject more money into state power firm Eskom by the end of March next year, should the struggling utility fail to meet its borrowing plan, a National Treasury presentation to parliament said on Wednesday.
Eskom, which supplies more than 90% of the country's electricity but has implemented power cuts this year due to plant outages, does not generate sufficient cash to meet its debt-service costs and relies on state bailouts to stay afloat.
The Treasury has already earmarked 26 billion rand ($1.7 billion) to Eskom in the financial year which ends in March 2020 as part of a special appropriation bill that will inject 59 billion rand over two years. That is on top of 23 billion rand a year for the next three years detailed in the February budget.
"Failure to execute its funding plan may result in Eskom experiencing liquidity shortfalls at 31 March 2020 and require additional funding in addition to funding provided through the Special Appropriation Bill," the National Treasury's director general, Dondo Mogajane, told lawmakers.
Mogajane said the government's financial support to Eskom, whose ballooning debt has reached 440 billion rand, was premised on its ability to execute its funding plan of 46 billion rand for 2019/20, with 58% already secured.
"If one of the legs in the funding plan is not met, then that is a challenge," he said.
The government plans to restructure the huge organisation into separate generation, distribution and transmission units. ($1 = 15.2369 rand) (Reporting by Wendell Roelf Editing by Alexander Winning and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)