December 21, 2017 / 1:10 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's power utility Eskom delays interim results announcement

(Gives background, adds quote)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 21 (Reuters) - South Africa’s power utility Eskom which has been embroiled in a governance crisis, said on Thursday it will postponed its interim results announcement until early next year.

Cash-strapped Eskom, the sole power supplier in Africa’s most industrialised economy, has struggled after a leadership crisis and has been at the heart of allegations of illegal contracts and undue influence in awarding tenders to the Gupta family, friends of President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

The scandal-plagued power utility, said it needed time for its newly-appointed board members to review financials and to review the impact of a new electricity tariff increase. It did not give a specific date for the release of the results.

“Eskom will release the results as soon as possible to ensure effective business continuity,” said Acting chief financial officer Calib Cassim.

A new Eskom board was approved by cabinet earlier this month with the public enterprises ministry, which oversees the utility, adding that it should take decisive action to address governance issues.

South Africa’s energy regulator Nersa granted cash-strapped Eskom a 5.23 percent electricity tariff increase, much lower than the 19.9 percent the country’s sole power supplier had requested. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by James Macharia)

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