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Bedour Ibrahim
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Eskom has just clocked more than 100 days free of the regular rolling blackouts

South Africa’s Eskom May Post $825 Million Annual Loss، FT Says

Sunday 07/July/2024 - 08:22 PM
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South Africa’s state-owned electricity firm Eskom SOC Ltd. may post an annual loss as high as 15 billion rand ($825 million) in the latest year، the Financial Times reported، without saying where it got the information. 

The outlook is brighter، though، as the cessation of rolling power cuts may help the utility post a profit in the year through March 2025 for the first time since 2016، Dan Marokane، Eskom’s chief executive officer، told the newspaper in an interview. 

Eskom has just clocked more than 100 days free of the regular rolling blackouts، or load-shedding، that have plagued South Africa. The utility first implemented the power cuts 16 years ago as it struggled to supply adequate power، and they had become endemic in recent years. 

The energy crunch has hurt households and businesses and in turn weighed on economic activity in Africa’s largest economy، In 2023 it contributed to a drop in GDP growth to just 0.7%، the slowest rate of expansion since the pandemic in 2020. 

Marokane، who took over as CEO on March 1، is working on salvaging Eskom’s reputation with investors who buy the utility’s bonds globally، which he expects to be a protracted exercise.

Trust can only be rebuilt “with empirical evidence over time that shows you’re continuing to deliver،” Marokane told the London-based newspaper. “To sustain this، Eskom has brought in new executives، and we also haven’t had a board anywhere close to this level of talent mix for some time.”