Eskom's circle of doom

Times Live recently reported on Eskom’s struggle to remain sustainable after a drop in their sales (

).  Apparently Eskom lost some 9000 gigawats in sales since last year, resulting in R5,8bn less in revenue. 

Early this year it was reported that Eskom helped fund a breakfast of the New Age Newspaper to the tune of a few million Rand.  It was explained on 567 Cape Talk at that time that Eskom did that to extend their brand. 

Now, it stands to reason that if sales drop, you need to market your product.  And also, one mos needs to promote your services to get the edge over your competitors.  So Eskom wants you to pruchase their electricity instead of say….  well, uhm,  it’s on the tip of my tongue, I just can’t remember the name of any of the other electricity providers in South Africa right now. 

Clearly the investment in the New Age breakfast did not render sufficient new sales.  Because, as a result of the drop in sales, Eskom now applied for an increased increase on their tariffs.  

But now, the thing I don’t quite get is this: 

·         Eskom asks us to use less electricity.

·         We oblige.

·         Now they go out on market drives to extend their brand to increase sales.  But they keep on asking us not to buy.  Should they not make up their mind which it is?

·         But then, because their endeavours to convince you to buy less electricity is more convincing than their enceavours to extend their brand and convince you to buy more electricity, they actually experience a drop in sales. 

·         And then, because you so nicely obliged and used less electricity, they penalise you with a tariff increase because you did not buy enough electricity to allow them to operate at a profit. 

Last year I managed to bring down my electricity consumption with 10% based on the previous ten years’ average usage.  This year, I am again managing some 10% less.

But it does not help me at all.  Anything I save, Eskom makes up by increasing their tariffs.  So it matters not that you try to save money by using less, you just keep on paying the same for the less that you now use. 

Surely there will come a time when the goose that actually pays its account, rather that to sommer tap his electricity down from the nearest pole, will reach the point where he simply cannot keep up. 

After all, not everybody earns what the Eskom bosses do.