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Published by: Darden Business Publishing
Originally published in: 1999
Version: 27 June 2012

Abstract

Eskom, a South African electric utility company, spends roughly 30% of its annual profits to implement a national social-initiative project, a countrywide infrastructure development program to provide electricity to the citizens of South Africa, who were often denied access to basic services under apartheid. In this way, the company hopes to fulfill its goal of becoming a 'model corporate citizen.' The case examines social, political, and corporate historical information, together with consumer and marketing data, vis-a-vis a viable plan for financing the program and distributing electricity to more than 9 million end users. But after four years, the program costs Eskom more money to operate than it gets from annual sales.
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Abstract

Eskom, a South African electric utility company, spends roughly 30% of its annual profits to implement a national social-initiative project, a countrywide infrastructure development program to provide electricity to the citizens of South Africa, who were often denied access to basic services under apartheid. In this way, the company hopes to fulfill its goal of becoming a 'model corporate citizen.' The case examines social, political, and corporate historical information, together with consumer and marketing data, vis-a-vis a viable plan for financing the program and distributing electricity to more than 9 million end users. But after four years, the program costs Eskom more money to operate than it gets from annual sales.

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