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    Eskom’s restated 2021 loss widens to record R25bn


    November 22, 2022 - Paul Burkhardt

     

      -- For more stories, go to theNews24 Business front page. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eskom restated the company's reported loss for the 2021 financial year to R25.3 billion, about 38% more than before certain accounting adjustments.

      The state-owned power provider originally reported an annual loss of 18.9 billion rand for the period through March last year, its fourth straight deficit. Eskom is struggling with operational issues that have required nationwide rolling blackouts -- known as load shedding -- and faces a debt pile of about R400 billion.

      The record loss represents another blow for Eskom, which is surviving on taxpayer bailouts. It reclassified a portion of coal inventory held at power stations from current to non-current assets and made adjustments to how it values property and equipment, according to a notice on the Johannesburg stock exchange. The changes "significantly affected the working capital ratio from 1.27 reported in the prior period to 0.95 after the restatements," it said.

      The main risk the utility faces is renewed governance and management issues, said Hilton Trollip, an energy research consultant and fellow at the University of Cape Town. "Government will have to assist Eskom finances at least at a survival level and can do that for quite a few years before the next inflection point."

      The company's results for the 2022 financial year were postponed due to a delay in appointing a new external auditor. The company also needs to resolve "numerous findings and control deficiencies emanating from the lack of compliance with well-documented policies and procedures," Eskom said. It will publish the latest results by 31 December.

      Other details:

      -- The fair value of derivatives held for risk management were restated to correct the curve methodology applied in determining the fair values of the financial instruments, which were not aligned to market practice -- A review of payment trends of defaulting municipalities accounted for on a cash basis indicated that certain trade receivables were not expected to be realized within 12 months after the reporting period -- The discount rate used in the valuation of power station-related environmental restoration and mine-related closure, pollution control and rehabilitation provisions, was corrected. 4="Oovvuu2" data-pos="middle" id="embed_18755828">

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