OUTA: Eskom application for 20% increase undermines NERSA transparency decision

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) believes that energy regulator NERSA should not have allowed Eskom to block public access to coal costs in its tariff application.

14/09/2017 10:46:27

OUTA: Eskom application for 20% increase undermines NERSA transparency decision

Ted Blom, OUTA’s Portfolio Director for Energy, says Eskom’s electricity tariff increase application still lack the facts explaining why the increase is needed.

“They have blacked out all the critical information on the application form. We are deeply concerned by this retrogressive step, due to the mismanagement and corruption taking place at Eskom,” says Blom.

Eskom’s application to NERSA calls for a 19.9% increase in the average price of electricity that the utility will charge from April 2018. This is under the fourth Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD4).

OUTA opposes Eskom’s 19.9% price increase.

OUTA has also campaigned for greater transparency in the pricing application, opposing Eskom’s recent application for secrecy in parts of it. NERSA ruled that most of the information which Eskom wanted to keep secret should be provided, to ensure informed decision-making, but NERSA has now agreed to allow Eskom to block sections of that additional information from the public.

“Keeping coal costs secret is not in the public interest. This is the very nub of where corruption worth billions of rand is taking place annually. This is the first area of corruption that I started exposing 10 years ago,” says Blom.

Blom urges all South Africans to oppose the secrecy over the coal contracts, emphasising that this is one of the key areas of corruption in Eskom and thus adds to the cost of electricity.

NERSA is allowing public comment on Eskom’s application until 13 October then will run public hearings.

Eskom’s 163 page application is on the NERSA website.

OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.