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Eskom’s warning that it couldn’t rule out another round of load shedding in the next few months turned out to be an understatement. Less than a day after it released its latest set of grim financial results, the lights were going off already.
It was perhaps symbolic that on the day of the release of the results, entering the company’s head office in Sunninghill was a challenge due to a traffic gridlock caused by blank traffic lights. That set the tone for what was to come.
Needless to say, none of it made happy reading. Interest costs doubled in just one year to R45bn, nearly twice as much as the cash generated by its operations, while total debt soared above R400bn. In the meantime, its sales volumes were down 0.8% in the year to date. While unreliable supply is causing more and more previously paying customers to leave the grid completely, Eskom is still burdened by having to provide electricity to those who won’t pay. Arrears from municipalities have jumped to R17bn, from R13.6bn...
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