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Eskom's R2.3bn net loss: 'Damage cannot be fixed overnight'

The company has released its annual results which show the difficult financial situation the parastatal is in.

FILE: Jabu Mabuza. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has reported a net loss of R2.3 billion for the past financial year.

The company has released its annual results which show the difficult financial situation the parastatal is in.

The utility says the focus since the beginning of the year has been on stabilising and cleaning up the institution.

Chairman Jabu Mabuza says the board is disappointed that it could not avoid a qualified audit.

“Look at our results with a slightly different set of lenses. They represent a base for restoration and renewal. The damage was not done overnight and so cannot be fixed overnight. We have to take some short-term pain to achieve long-term gains.”

IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE

Eskom's irregular expenditure has ballooned to over R19 billion dating back to 2012.

Mabuza also said there had been R19.6 billion in irregular expenditure since 2012, with much of the irregular expenditure being reported in 2018.

"This was a result of us shaking the cupboard so hard that so many skeletons came tumbling down," he said.

"The verification and cleaning up exercise resulted in a significant increase in the number of reported irregular expenditure in 2018 (from R3 billion to R19.6 billion) with many of the items reported arising in prior years. Where information was not readily available, alternative methods were used where practical to identify irregular expenditure," the utility said.

IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE MIGHT BE HIGHER

Eskom says it's still tallying up irregular expenditure and expects the amount to be higher than the R19.6 billion reported so far during the past six years.

A large portion of this amount was reported this year and the rest is being tallied up from previous years.

Acting CFO Calib Cassim says they've gone back as far back as 2012.

“To assess our expenditure and whether we were compliant, we have done so in terms of what was practically possible and up until this point, we will continue with that analysis for the remainder of this financial year.”

Eskom's liquidity remains a going concern with a whopping R4.2 billion owed to it by municipalities.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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