'Eskom profits are up, but be wary of bonuses'
Eskom bosses will not get inflated bonuses if Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has his way.
Eskom announced yesterday that it had increased its net profit to R13. 2-billion for the year to end-March 2012, from R8.4-billion for the previous year. Despite the surplus, Gigaba warned the board to tread carefully when deciding on paying incentives.
"The government has been asking South Africans to tighten their belts," said Gigaba.
"There is a need to address income disparities. We must also bear in mind the poor are looking up to us."
When asked if executives would receive bonuses this year, Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi said: "We have a provision for the payment of bonuses, depending on the company's performance."
The Department of Public Enterprises has waived its right to a dividend to enable the utility to finance expansion plans and service its R183.6-billion debt.
The utility also spent R3.3-billion to buy power from independent producers. Eskom CEO Brian Dames boasted that South Africa had not experienced load-shedding since 2008, despite a growing electricity demand.
He said Eskom had recommissioned two power stations and that Medupi and Kusile were expected to be fully functional by 2019.
"Eskom's strong performance over the past two years, and the decision by our shareholder to sacrifice some of its return on equity, enabled us to apply successfully to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa in March to reduce the average electricity tariff increase for the current year to 16%, from the 25.9% which Nersa originally granted us," said Dames.