- Last week Eskom told a parlimentary portfolio committee it was moving ahead with a tender for a new corporate identity which includes a logo redesign and much more.
- Incensed at the prospect of Eskom spending money on a vanity project, locals have sarcastically pitched their own logo ideas.
- Eskom has had four logos in its more than 100 years of operation, the most recent of which was introduced in 2002.
Developing a new corporate identity (CI) can be an inordinately costly endeavour and South Africans are rightfully incensed at the prospect of Eskom spending money on doing just that during an ongoing and seemingly worsening electricity crisis.
In October Eskom published a tender calling for agencies to bid to redesign Eskom’s CI which includes new logos for Eskom subsidiaries and a host of other materials. The tender document detailing everything Eskom wants is embedded below and it’s rather extensive.
This is a lot of work and while Eskom hasn’t said how much this CI redesign is going to cost, South Africans are voicing their displeasure that funds that could be being used for solving the energy crisis are instead going towards a meaningless and costly corporate identity overhaul.
We should highlight that should this tender move forward, which Eskom insists it is, and a design is chosen, Eskom would then need to implement this redesign meaning all letterheads, compliment slips (these are still used in 2023?) and staff uniforms, would need to be updated.
While we understand that the utility is being split into three entities namely, Generation, Transmission and Distribution, right now the focus should be on righting the Eskom ship, and not designing and implementing a new corporate identity.
As South Africans do, the nation has taken to X, formerly Twitter, to share their pitches for a new Eskom logo.
The current Eskom logo has been the utility’s logo since 2002 and while that is a long time between updates, the utility has only had three other logos over the more than 100 years it has existed.
The existing logo is really perfect as it is. It’s easily recognisable and legible from a distance, and it’s dare we say, slick. For a logo designed in 2002, the design has kept up with the times. We can’t say the same for the rest of Eskom’s CI collateral as it is incredibly dated but that’s a preference thing and with Stage 6 loadshedding making a comeback last week, once again, addressing the energy crisis is far more pressing than choosing a new swatch of colours for the annual report to adhere to.
The decision to move forward with this tender process makes even less sense when according to City Press, the utility reported a net loss of R24 billion in its 2022/2023 annual results.
Eskom chief procurement officer Jainthree Sankar told members of Parliament last week that submissions were being evaluated before the value of the contract would be disclosed.
“These design elements will be within approved budgets, and we’ll take care of them within those subsidiaries in that light,” Sankar told the parliamentary portfolio committee on public enterprises.
“We have a procurement road map, and this road map actually shows that we do certain things. Among the key things is the appointment of a service provider that will actually help us in terms of analysing procurement data and give us exceptions to focus on in the future,” the procurement officer added.
Here’s hoping that this process isn’t the target of corruption and malfeasance although given the scope of work and the history of the utility, we aren’t confident that this redesign will end well.
Loadshedding currently moving between Stage 3 between 05:00 and 16:00 with Stage 4 in effect from 16:00 to 05:00 until at least Thursday.