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Eskom’s Acting CEO, Calib Cassim, has emphasised that awarding the tender to redesign the state-owned power utility’s brand identity is not a foregone conclusion. He clarified that the tender goes beyond Eskom’s logo, encompassing brand identities for its separate divisions, a move aligned with the government’s plan to legally segregate Eskom into distinct entities. Cassim urged patience, asserting that the decision will be made after a thorough evaluation process. He also highlighted that having a tender doesn’t necessarily lead to a contract, emphasising fiscal responsibility amid concerns about costs. The budget for the brand identity revamp remains undisclosed, but agencies bidding for the project were asked to assume a budget of R5 million per entity. Despite this, some have criticised the move, citing Eskom’s financial challenges and its reliance on taxpayer bailouts, suggesting that a logo change should not be a priority amid electricity bill hikes for consumers.
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Why Eskom is considering spending millions on new logos
Eskom acting CEO Calib Cassim has said it isn’t inevitable that they will award the tender to redesign the ailing state-owned power utility’s brand identity.
Responding to questions at Eskom’s annual results presentation, Cassim explained that the tender is not only about Eskom’s logo, but about brand identities for their separate divisions.
These divisions will be created when government’s plan to legally separate Eskom into generation, transmission, and distribution companies is executed.
“So [the tender] doesn’t just relate to the transmission company,” Cassim stated.
Cassim has also asked for patience while the tender runs its course.
“We do recognise there’s some concern around [the tender],” he acknowledged.
“The tender closes on 2 November. Let the tender close. We’ll evaluate it through the process and then decide on the way forward.”
He also said that just because there is a tender doesn’t mean it would result in a contract.
“There’s a budget. It doesn’t mean we have to spend the budget,” he said.
Cassim sidestepped a question about how much Eskom expects to pay for the brand identity revamp.
However, Eskom asked agencies who tendered for the project to assume a budget of R5 million per entity in their presentations.
The tender asked agencies to quote for designing, developing, and implementing a new corporate identity for the following entities:
- National Transmission Company of South Africa
- National Distribution Company of South Africa
- Potential Eskom NewCo
- Any other Eskom Group of companies in the future
This multi-million tender has extensive requirements, including designing a slew of printed and digital assets, marketing material, and online assets.
The cost of designing and executing a new logo and corporate identity for Eskom is only a small portion of the total cost.
To rebrand, a company must change the logo on all its buildings, digital assets, printed materials, and much more. It would cost a fortune.
DA public enterprises spokesperson Ghaleb Cachalia slated the tender, calling it a vanity project that contributes nothing towards solving South Africa’s load-shedding crisis.
“Eskom has been bankrupt for a while now and has been kept afloat by taxpayer-funded bailouts, the most recent of which was the R254 billion Eskom debt takeover by the government — which will worsen the country’s already precarious debt burden,” Cachalia said.
“It is therefore simply astounding that Eskom sees a logo change as a priority when they are literally surviving on taxpayer money.”
Cachalia called on Cassim to immediately rescind the tender, arguing that it amounts to frivolous expenditure.
“Consumers are struggling to pay their electricity bills after Eskom imposed a 31.4% tariff increase over two years, yet Eskom sees it prudent to use their money for a new corporate logo.”
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This article was first published by MyBroadBand and is republished with permission.
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