Eskom defended its decision to appoint a brand design agency for the development of a brand and corporate identity (CI) for its new subsidiaries.

This after it came under fire by Professor Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, who, via his attorneys, sent Eskom a lawyer’s letter criticising a R15 million tender for the design of a new company logo and development of a corporate identity for each of the three newly unbundled independent subsidiary companies, namely, Generation, Transmission and Distribution.

“Professor Tabane and the public are alarmed at the fact that Eskom has issued a multimillion-rand tender in circumstances where (a) it has reported a staggering loss of R24 billion for the period 2022/23; (b) earlier this year it received a bailout of R254bn from the national government; and (c) more importantly, the country is facing unprecedented electricity blackouts which have caused unimaginable havoc to business and households.

The design of new company logos will do absolutely nothing to address these challenges,” the letter reads.

“In the circumstances, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that Eskom should give a written undertaking by no later than close of business on 1 December 2023 that it will not go ahead with the aforesaid tender. Failing which, Professor Tabane will take appropriate steps to protect the interests of the South African public.”

However, Eskom said in accordance with the Public Enterprises Department’s "Roadmap for Eskom in a reformed Electricity Supply Industry”, as part of the legal separation of Transmission, Distribution and Generation, a key milestone included the appointment of a brand design agency.

“The business is outsourcing this activity given its current in-house limitations. It is also important to note is that the Eskom Holdings logo will not change.

“The first division to be legally separated under Eskom Holdings is Transmission. “This division will need new branding and CI to establish itself as separate and independent from Eskom in the market, both locally and internationally.

“In the initial phase, the Transmission Division will be a heavily endorsed brand, thus mostly adhering to the existing Eskom CI, and the logo and CI design updates have been done in-house.

“It is, however, envisaged that the subsidiary brands will evolve and, over time, require more independent corporate identities.

“Eskom wants to appoint a service provider that will provide the subsidiaries with the full scope of brand and CI design skills on an ‘as and when required’ basis to create the logo and CI design specifications and ensure a uniform look and feel across all subsidiary offices, customer service centres nationally and electronic touchpoints.”

Eskom said the plan was for the subsidiaries to implement the design elements in phases, in line with approved budgets.

“Like any state-owned entity, Eskom will be prudent in the establishment of these subsidiaries, whilst the cost of the creation of the brand and CI will be market-related.

“These costs will be established once Eskom reviews all the submissions from the prospective suppliers in response to the tender.”

Meanwhile for ordinary South Africans and small businesses, the impact of rolling blackouts has been severe amid higher stages of load shedding. The blackouts have been implemented daily to “manage the emergency reserves”.

Stage 3 load shedding was implemented on Thursday from 10am until 4pm, after which, Stage 4 would follow from 4pm until 8pm.

This was followed by Stage 5 load shedding until 5am on Friday.

Kraaifontein resident Claudia Naidoo said it was very frustrating, as sometimes there were only two-hour intervals between load shedding.

“You wake up into load shedding, and it always happens at times when you have something to do. We have load shedding lights but it broke because it doesn't charge long enough. Our UPS has also not been working because it hasn’t charged properly because it needs more than four hours to charge.

“For the past week or two, between 10pm and 12.30am at night, more people have reported break-ins in our area during load shedding and it’s quite dark that time,” Naidoo said.

Johannesburg resident Angela McGill said they had been running a butchery for over 47 years with the same staff but were now having to confront the possibility of cuts.

“It’s demoralising because on top of that you've got the water outage. It has a knock-on effect. Friends end up having to close business doors. It’s heart-wrenching.

“These generators are supposed to make things easier but the price of fuel has a knock-on effect. As a small family business, you see that,” McGill said.

Cape Times

2023-12-01T06:39:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd