Eskom wants big bonuses

2020-01-08 06:00

ESKOM wants taxpayers to cough up a further R1,8 billion for performance bonuses, despite the power utility’s well-documented inability to keep the lights on.

This was laid bare in court papers filed by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) and follows extensive rolling blackouts, which resumed after a lull over the festive season.

Nersa is preparing for a court battle against Eskom this week, in which Eskom will try to squeeze a further R69 billion out of consumers.

In the court papers, filed by Nersa last week, Nomfundo Maseti, the acting full-time member of Nersa for electricity, does not mince her words about the public having to pay for the incompetence and maladministration at Eskom.

She cites the bonuses as an example, and said that it “came to Nersa’s attention” that Eskom plans to pay bonuses totalling R1,8 billion between last year and 2022.

These plans were not revealed in the version of Eskom’s tariff application that was published for public comment.

Nersa refused to allow additional tariff increases for the payment of bonuses, but Eskom is challenging Nersa’s decisions in court.

Maseti said in her affidavit that the planned bonuses were “within the control of management” and should not be allowed at a time when Eskom was financially unstable.

But this requirement has not stopped Eskom from richly rewarding its employees in “performance bonuses” in the past.

Eskom paid bonuses of R4,2 billion in 2017.

If these bonuses were distributed equally among all 47 658 Eskom employees, each would have received about R88 000.

In 2016, performance bonuses of R2,1 billion were paid.

— News24

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