Despite Eskom being in what can only be described as a woeful state, the utility has managed to keep the lights on during the national lockdown.
But that’s not to say it’s all cherry blossoms and rose water at Eskom as, due to the lockdown, a number of intensive power users simply aren’t drawing power any more.
This is rather problematic for the utility as acting treasurer, Mandla Maleka explained to Fin24.
“Given that the lockdown will be in place for a month, Eskom expects revenue losses in the region of R2 billion to R2.5 billion a month,” said Maleka.
This is incredibly problematic, especially when you take into account that Eskom posted a net loss of R20.7 billion for the 2018/19 financial year.
In fact, those potential losses estimated by Maleka are as big as the loss Eskom reported between 2018/19 and 2017/18 – it was R2.3 billion for those keeping score.
Despite this daunting outlook, Maleka told Fin24 that Eskom has no plans to approach government for further financial assistance.
Eskom was granted R69 billion in support by government over three years back in 2019 by minister of finance, Tito Mboweni which may assist, although how much it will assist is a topic for another time.
The decision to not allow Eskom to increase tariffs by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) was recently overturned which might allow Eskom to recover some of the losses it expects during lockdown.