EDITORIAL: Adding salt to SA’s energy injury
Eskom’s branding plan for its unbundled future is a bundle of outrageous waste
For years now Eskom has been killing South Africans and their businesses by failing to do its job of providing reliable electricity to our households and firms. Now it plans to spend R15m to brand the three subsidiaries — for generation, distribution and transmission — that will be created as part of its unbundled future.
This is an outrageous waste. It adds salt to South Africans’ energy wounds.
In the long-delayed split, the only entity that has been legally established is Eskom Transmission, a state-owned company. The others, generation and distribution, have yet to be established.
The logic is that the three entities will have different logos. Eskom provides more than 95% of all electricity to SA. For the foreseeable future, this monopoly situation will still exist. This obviates the need for distinguishing features which would be required if there were competition.
Renewables, which were to augment Eskom’s unreliable power supply, have been hobbled by ideology and red tape. It is only recently that their licensing has gained traction.
Eskom is mainly a business-to-business company. Its retail business is minuscule. There is no need for it to be distinguishable from other competitors such as independent power producers and the few large companies that have seized the opportunity to generate their own power.
Eskom’s transmission company, a state monopoly, needs no branding. It urgently needs a board and management.
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