Eskom’s monstrous R20.7bn loss in one shock graphic

Eskom’s mammoth shortfall could have been used to hire more than 48,000 senior police officers or build more than 952 clinics

Eskom reported a R20.7 billion loss, and is now in line for another huge bailout from the government. Image: Eskom

Embattled power utility Eskom on Tuesday reported a loss of R20.7bn, which it attributed to a steep increase in debt servicing and fuel costs. This despite billions in bailouts from the government, with the latest being R59bn proposed by finance minister Tito Mboweni in July.

If you thought Nkandla, which cost taxpayers R246m, was South Africa’s biggest money problem, think again. Even Botswana’s 2018 GDP has nothing on Eskom’s shortfall.

In her budget vote speech last week, social development minister Lindiwe Zulu said R7.6bn would be set aside for the administration of Sassa grants. This means Eskom’s lost billions could pay for the administration of these grants for close to three years.

Used effectively, this is how R20.7bn could be utilised in SA.

More police on our streets? Well, that’s one way the Eskom billions could have been used.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Help the fight against crime

The Institute for Security Studies places the earnings of warrant officers at R407,000 a year. This means that 48,000 senior police officers could have been employed with the money that Eskom lost.

Housing provision

According to Ground Up, the government forked out R164m for a project used to build 900 RDP houses. Using this figure as standard point of reference, R20.7bn means 113,611 RDP houses could be built at a cost of R18bn.

Better access to healthcare

The Western Cape government in April set aside R21m for the construction of a new clinic in Gansbaai. At this price, 952 new clinics could have been built at a cost of R19.9bn.

BY CEBELIHLE BHENGU

TimesLIVE

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