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Eskom to pay millions for new logo, but South Africans offer free designs … and they could glow in the dark

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Eskom is looking to award a multimillion-rand tender for the design of a new company logo and development of its corporate identity, but enraged South Africans have come up with their own logo redesigns – for free.

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ESKOM is looking to award a multimillion-rand tender for the design of a new company logo and development of its corporate identity, but enraged South Africans have come up with their own logo redesigns – for free.

The electricity parastatal posted a R24 billion loss in 2022/23, is unable to keep the lights on and has increased its tariffs by more than 31 percent over two years, but still plans to forge ahead with this project despite a political and public outcry.

The deadline for tender submissions was November 2, and while a budget amount was not given, it is believed that applicants were told to work on a figure of R5 million per entity.

On Wednesday last week, the same day that Eskom management briefed parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on its net loss of almost R24 billion in the 2022/23 financial year, it confirmed that the tender had not been cancelled. In fact, the bids are currently being evaluated. After this has been done, Eskom will disclose the contract’s value.

City Press reported that Eskom chief procurement officer Jainthree Sankar explained to MPs that the logo redesign was part of the Department of Public Enterprises’ plan to unbundle the parastatal into separate transmission, generation and distribution entities. Each of these will need its own logo and corporate identity.

This means the total project budget could cost R15 million.

South Africans, meanwhile – in true Mzansi style – have reacted with vigour, and not only taken time out of their busy schedules to design new logos, but are offering them to the beleaguered state entity for free. For, even though load shedding has been continually ramped up and 2023 has only seen 12 days without these power outages, the people are showing their penchant for compassion.

A post by ‘Good Things Guy’ Brett Lindeque on social media platform X kicked off the season of giving:

And these are some of the responses that followed:

There may, however, be some copyright issues as some ideas seem to be almost identical.

This was another idea freely offered to Eskom:

While not offering a new logo design, X user Boet Spencer made a very valid point: “I hope Eskom’s new logo glows in the dark.”

Lindeque then took his idea one step further, suggesting that Eskom launch its new logo with an accompanying advert:

Meanwhile, the DA has submitted written questions to the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, to provide answers on the following:

1. Is Eskom still going ahead with the tender which closed at 10am (SAST) on 2 November 2023? Please provide reasons for the response.

2. How many companies submitted an application for the tender?

3. How much was/is Eskom expected to spend on the design of the new logo and corporate identity Eskom?

4. How much was/is Eskom expected to spend on the launch of the new logo and corporate identity?

5. Who at Eskom took the decision to tender for the design of a new logo and corporate identity?

6. Did Minister Gordhan approve the decision for Eskom to tender for the design of a new logo and corporate identity? Who else at Eskom approved this decision? On what basis was this decision approved by these individuals?

7. Why does/did Eskom need a new logo and corporate identity in the middle of an electricity crisis?

8. Why was this the appropriate time for Eskom to issue a tender for a new logo and corporate identity?

9. How will a new corporate logo and identity contribute towards assisting Eskom to end load shedding and to, further, deal with the fiscal challenges that it is currently experiencing?

MP Mimmy Gondwe says the DA made its position known on this “frivolous expenditure” when it wrote to Eskom acting chief executive Calib Cassim, asking him to cancel the tender “as it is outrageous and not justifiable by any rational measure or means”.

“The DA has also made it clear to Cassim that such expenditure will be an insult to consumers who are not only struggling to pay for basic foodstuffs but also struggling to pay their electricity bills after Eskom imposed a 31.4 percent tariff increase over two years.”

She adds: “Eskom has been bankrupt for a while now and has been kept afloat by taxpayer-funded bailouts, the most recent of which was the R254bn Eskom debt takeover by government – which debt takeover will only worsen the country’s already precarious debt burden. It is therefore simply astounding that Eskom sees a change in its logo and corporate identity as a priority when they are literally surviving on taxpayer money.”

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