Eskom has frozen all new appointments as well as pay increases for senior management as it battles to reduce its crippling operating costs and secure a sustainable future. The power utility is due to report its financial results for the 2017-18 year in July. It is expected to report a sharp decline in profitability to either a break-even or even a loss-making position. In 2017, it made a net profit of R888m on revenue of R177bn, with the wage bill carving out R37bn of this sum — an indication that pruning of employee costs was necessary. Cost cutting is something that the new management team under acting CEO Phakamani Hadebe and the new board are grappling with as they attempt to turn around the utility, which has been gripped by allegations of state capture and wasteful expenditure. Other state-owned enterprises such as Transnet and Denel have been caught up in similar allegations of state capture, while South African Airways and South African Express face a similar crisis of profi...

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