ABN – South Africa’s national power utility Eskom has presented annual results that contain some of its worst performance metrics in history.
The group’s net profit fell by almost half, from R7.1 billion to R3.6 billion in the last financial year, and the completion of three major power plants has been pushed back by two years.
Eskom has been hit by factors including weaker output from its aging coal-fired power stations, delays in constructing new plants, load-shedding hurting electricity sales and thieves stealing R102 million’s worth of conductors, cabling and other equipment.
Nevertheless, acting CEO Brian Molefe presented the results in a positive light, pointing to the utility’s success in supplying electricity 96% of the time on average (notwithstanding loadshedding).
“This is not a hopeless situation,” he said. “We’re cash positive from operations.”
He added that Eskom had begun an accelerated programme to bring three more power plants – Ingula, Kusile and Medupi – onstream, with Ingula due to come online in the second half of 2016.