Eskom’s 2017-18 annual report makes unsurprisingly gloomy reading, with the utility fighting to control costs and increase revenue. The announcement of a R2.3bn ($173m) loss and a qualified audit on 23 July came amid a stand-off with unions over pay and the possibility of job losses which has already led to violence and sabotage. High primary energy and debt servicing costs look similarly intractable. In the shorter term, the utility’s net cash position has fallen from R45.8bn to R37.6bn over the year.