The civil rights organisation AfriForum is asking the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to not include Eskom’s alleged corruption and maladministration in the increase of the coming year’s electricity tariff.
The organisation participated in the public participation process regarding the electricity increase which Eskom requested for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Eskom initially submitted a request for an increase of 15% in the 2019/2020 financial year, but amended the application during the process by asking for more than 17%. AfriForum is arguing that Nersa is entitled to excluding corruption and maladministration.
Dr Eugene Brink, AfriForum’s Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs, says there will need to be radical intervention from Nersa if Eskom’s management doesn’t urgently improve. “Turning down Eskom’s tariff increase application is one remedy which Nersa has to demand responsibility from Eskom. They will need to start looking at other options as well seeing as Eskom’s problems are increasingly becoming more serious, while they want to take more and more from the public to compensate for it.”
After the conclusion of AfriForum’s presentation, Nersa asked the civil rights organisation to compile a report regarding the impact of municipal non-payments on tariff increases. “Municipal non-payments dominated a large part of the conversations. Municipal overdue debt increased with R4,3 billion to R13,6 billion according to the 2018 annual report. The mid-year report indicates that this debt has already increased with another R3,4 billion to R17 billion. These increases indicate that the turnaround strategy of Eskom’s new management does not have an impact on municipal level,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Head of Local Government Affairs.
AfriForum will compile further commentary and send it to the Nersa committee.