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Eskom and The South African Electrification Program (B)
Werhane, Patricia H.; Gorman, Michael E.; Cunningham, Brian Case E-0163 / Published April 7, 1999 / 2 pages.
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After Eskom implemented a viable plan for providing electricity to more than 1.75 million South African households, many of its customers failed to pay for service, which resulted in a debt of approximately $400 million by 1997. This negative consumer behavior was not necessarily unjustified, as South Africa's black citizens had historically used consumer boycotts as a means of protest against the apartheid state, so the country's consumer base had evolved in an environment where nonpayment was often seen as a social norm rather than negative behavior. Recognizing that consumers' behavior was the result of living under an oppressive regime, Eskom needed to address this seemingly intractable situation.


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  • Overview

    After Eskom implemented a viable plan for providing electricity to more than 1.75 million South African households, many of its customers failed to pay for service, which resulted in a debt of approximately $400 million by 1997. This negative consumer behavior was not necessarily unjustified, as South Africa's black citizens had historically used consumer boycotts as a means of protest against the apartheid state, so the country's consumer base had evolved in an environment where nonpayment was often seen as a social norm rather than negative behavior. Recognizing that consumers' behavior was the result of living under an oppressive regime, Eskom needed to address this seemingly intractable situation.

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