Eskom employees get fat bonuses despite loss

Although Eskom incurred massive losses in its last financial year, it still managed to pay each employee an average bonus of R88 000.

The total bonus amount of R4.2bn (2016: R2.1bn) was paid out the week before last, despite the fact that Eskom made a loss. It was given a qualified audit owing to irregularities and the power utility now has 10% more debt that it did the previous year.

If the total amount allocated for bonuses is divided by all 47 658 of Eskom’s employees, each one would have received a bonus of at least R88 000.

Even the employees in the purchasing department, which was responsible for the qualified audit, received the bonus.

Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom’s spokesperson, yesterday told Rapport bonuses were awarded on the basis of performance.

The commercial division got 75% of their bonus – in spite of damning reports by Treasury, the audit firms PwC and Dentons and the Public Protector.

Eskom’s external auditors, SizweNtsalubaGobodo, found that Eskom had incurred R3bn worth of irregular expenditure.

Phasiwe said that not every Eskom employee had received a bonus.

“I know of a colleague of mine who works at Eskom in Orlando who did not receive a bonus because she was hospitalised for a long time, and obviously you can’t receive a bonus if you are not at work,” he said.

Deon Reyneke, head of the metal, engineering and electrical industry at the union Solidarity, said he had “no idea why there was such a big difference between this year’s figures and last year’s figures ... explaining where the money came from is difficult”.

At the release of the financial results on Wednesday, Anoj Singh, chief financial officer of Eskom, and who has been linked to the Guptas, said Eskom made a profit of R888m for the year.

He actually meant the Eskom Group had made this profit, something which was only revealed in financial statements given to journalists at the very end of the presentation.

The Eskom Group also consists of profitable companies such as thee Eskom Finance Company, Escap and the Eskom Development Foundation.

The power utility itself incurred a loss of R870m. In the previous year, the group and the power utility had respectively managed to make a profit of R5bn and R3bn.

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