By Hlengiwe Ndlovu and Sisho Magagula | 2018-09-14
THE Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) had requested a tariff increase higher than the 15 per cent which was eventually granted and came into effect in June this year.
Despite the Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA) toning down the proposed tariff increase to 15 per cent, EEC yesterday announced it had managed to realise E532 million profits in the recently concluded financial year.
The company’s healthy financial position was announced by a thrilled and satisfied board chairperson S’thofeni Ginindza in a press conference yesterday afternoon.
This marks a huge turn around for a company that not long ago lived on overdrafts.
In the previous financial year, EEC’s revenue stood at E144 million, which means within a period of just one year, the company’s profits ballooned by over E344 million to the E532 million announced yesterday.
Ginindza mentioned in his earlier presentation that in the 2017 financial year, EEC, formerly the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) was in a rather obscure financial position with the balance sheet indicating liabilities far outweighed assets which only stood at 0.6 per cent.
The company managed to turn the tide as assets now stand at 1.6 per cent, translating to a healthy financial position.
Ginindza was full of praise for his management team for dedication.
He stressed that the profits would be re-invested into the company to ensure quality service to the public.
Echoing the chairperson’s words was Managing Director Meshack Kunene who said EEC’s financial predicament in the previous financial year was worsened by the El Nino drought which forced the company to purchase costlier alternatives of power and selling at reduced prices to cushion consumers from high costs.
Kunene said the company actually depleted its reserves during the drought period, a situation which resulted in EEC borrowing money to pay its staff salaries at some stage.
Reiterating the MD’s remarks, Ginindza predicted that the current revenue could soon be cushioning yet another drought situation depending on the outcome of the forecasted El Nino drought predicted to strike the kingdom in December.
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