Eskom suffered a loss of R20.5 billion in the financial year to the end of March – its worst loss yet and also one of the biggest losses a state-owned enterprise has ever suffered.
André de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, said on Friday that these were disappointing results.
Power sales were 1.29% lower than in the previous financial year.
Although savings of R16.3 billion were achieved, they were largely absorbed by diesel consumption, which was more than budgeted. Eskom did make an operating profit of R9.2 billion, but with its unsustainable debt burden, this resulted in a net financing cost of R31.3 billion, resulting in a net loss of R20.5 billion.
Eskom expects its coal costs to increase by only 0.3% in the current financial year thanks to revised contracts.
Eskom had to spend R7.5 billion on diesel during the year to limit load shedding, and these costs will be reduced by up to 30% in the current financial year.
De Ruyter says more than 14% of Eskom’s power generation capacity is currently out of service for planned maintenance.
According to him, Eskom is progressing with its division into three separate entities. The transmission division will be a separate subsidiary by December next year.
Eskom’s more aggressive approach to collecting debt from municipalities has begun to bear fruit. The repayment rate of the 20 municipalities that owe Eskom the most improved in the financial year from 42% in March to 49% in September.