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Soweto owes Eskom R17bn

Date: Feb 12, 2019

Soweto owes Eskom R17 billion, half of the total national debt

Eskom is desperately trying to recoup money owed by municipalities – Soweto, in particular, is making that task all the more difficult.

Eskom, South Africa’s national electricity provider, had an exceptionally shocking year in 2018. Financial losses reached dismal new depths. Irregularities, both fiscally and operationally, left the state owned enterprise floundering in the doldrums of gross incompetence. Dubious coal shortages, failed maintenance plans, industrial action and the lingering stench of corruption only added to Eskom’s woes.

Inevitably, Eskom’s problems become the problems of South African citizens. The much-loathed load shedding schedule made an ominous return. This year, the knock-on effects of ineptitude will be felt the hardest, as the power utility looks to increase the cost of electricity by at least 15%.

The tariff increase is an attempt to rebuff financial failings – to increase revenue. Never mind the fact that Eskom hasn’t actually increased its operational capacity and that, as a service provider, is teetering on the brink of failure – there’s a bigger issue pertaining directly to the mooted tariff increases.

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