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Business Day (South Africa) - Eskom reveals its African ambitions.

JOHANNESBURG, 27 August 2002 - Eskom reveals its African ambitions Financial Services Reporter ESKOM Enterprises has revealed details of plans to extend its electricity backbone into Africa, reporting that it has set aside between R3bn and R3,5bn of an initial R6bn needed for two projects.

Eskom CEO Reuel Khoza says that of the initial R6bn required to start work on two transmission lines on Africa's east and west coasts, it will put up 60% of the finance, with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) putting up the rest. The R6bn will be housed in the African Energy Fund, and administered by people from Eskom, the DBSA and the IDC.

Speaking on the opening day of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Khoza said that Business Action for Sustainable Development would be seeking endorsement from the summit for the electricity plan.

Khoza says the R6bn is an initial amount to kick off the plan.

He says one of the big four SA banks may partner Eskom Enterprises in its African expansion plans with "big money". He declined to name the bank.

The projects involve the creation of two transmission lines, one on the western corridor of Africa, the other on the east. The western line is designed to link Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and SA.

On the east coast, the transmission line is designed to link Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. Work on the western corridor has already begun.