Eskom plays waiting game before challenging Nersa tariff ruling

Cape Town - Eskom will await the energy regulator’s reasons for determining a 5.23% tariff increase before taking any decisions to challenge it.

This is according to a response to Fin24 from the power utility’s deputy spokesperson Dikatso Mothae, following reports that Eskom is considering a court review of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa's) decision.

Mothae said Eskom would wait for the regulator’s reasons for the decision to determine what impact it will have on the business, and then decide on the way forward.

In December Eskom said it was delaying the release of its interim financial results for the period ended September 30 2017, as it was reviewing the impact of the 5.23% increase and to allow its new board to review its financials.

Eskom on Monday afternoon announced it is committed to releasing the results by January 31, in order to meet the JSE’s debt listing requirements.

Eskom is within its rights to challenge Nersa’s decision. “In terms of the National Energy Regulator Act, any person may institute proceedings in the high court to review the decision in accordance with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act,” Eskom said.

Energy analyst and managing director of EE Publishers Chris Yelland explained to Fin24 that the courts would have the authority to overturn the decision. But this depends on the reasons for Nersa’s determination.

“Nersa is legally obliged to give reasons for its determination, but does not have to do it at the time of the determination,” he said.

The regulator conducted countrywide hearings before reaching its decision.

Nersa head of communications Charles Hlebela told Fin24 in an emailed response that the regulator is finalising internal regulatory processes before it will publish the reasons.

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