Over the last 14 years, Eskom’s financial and operational performance plummeted, and it is now selling less electricity than it did in 2008.
Eskom has a proud history. For 85 years, the power utility provided South Africa with reliable, affordable electricity.
Eskom created a world-class generation and distribution network which supplied more than half of the electricity in Africa in 1990.
It was also highly efficient. Eskom said in its 1994 annual report that it was the world’s lowest-cost producer of electricity.
Eskom even won the prestigious Power Company of the Year Award at the Global Energy Awards ceremony held in New York in December 2001.
South Africans loved the company, and in 2004, Eskom was named South Africa’s most admired brand in the Markinor/Sunday Times Top Brands Survey.
Fast forward two decades, and Eskom is unrecognisable. It is the most hated company in South Africa and cannot provide enough electricity to keep the lights on.
Eskom’s failure is causing tremendous damage to South Africa’s economy, and the power utility is riddled with corruption, mismanagement, and inefficiencies.
Its collapse is causing tremendous damage to the economy and contributes to unemployment, poverty, and money leaving the country.
Eskom’s collapse between 2008 and 2022
To see what has happened to Eskom, Daily Investor compared Eskom’s financial and operational performance between 2007/2008, when load-shedding was first introduced, and 2022.
The data showed a huge increase in employee and operational expenses but a decline in the amount of electricity sold.
Here are a few highlights.
- Eskom sold less electricity in 2022 than it did in 2008.
- The price of electricity increased from R0.19 per kWh to R1.28 per kWh.
- Eskom went from a profit of R1 billion to a loss of R14 billion.
- Eskom’s staff costs increased from R11 billion to R33 billion.
- Eskom’s cost per employee per year increased from R320,670 to R816,036.
- The energy availability factor declined from 85% in 2008 to 62% in 2022.
Eskom’s deteriorating performance resulted in daily load-shedding and tremendous losses to businesses across South Africa.
The infographic below compares Eskom’s performance between 2008 and 2022 using data from Eskom’s annual reports.