Eskom announces record R20.7bn loss

Eskom chair and acting CEO of Eskom Jabu Mabuza (left), and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Eskom chair and acting CEO of Eskom Jabu Mabuza (left), and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Eskom announced a record loss of R20.7bn for the past financial year on Tuesday, citing lower earnings, increased finance costs and higher costs for primary energy, in particular coal 

Chair Jabu Mabuza said: “Our challenges can’t be addressed in isolation or overnight. They require a partnership approach where difficult choices have to be made for sustainable success.”

The company, which has R440bn debt, which it is unable to service, is a drag on public finances with successive bailouts from the government adding to the national debt burden and threatening government’s credit rating.

In February, finance minister Tito Mboweni announced government support of R23bn a year for the next three years. Last week, Mboweni added an additional R59bn to the package, which will flow to Eskom in 2019 and 2020.

Mabuza said he had agreed to take on the job of acting group CEO out of a sense of duty to the country.

“It is not a job I would have applied for. My priority will be to continue to achieve financial and operational stability. The role of the board will be to finalise the appointment of a permanent CEO,” he said.

Mabuza said the permanent appointment will be made by  October 31 and the transitional arrangement, in which he occupies both the position of chair and CEO, cannot continue beyond that date.

X