Eskom's 'secret business info' will reveal transgressions - OUTA

Cape Town - The information that the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) requires Eskom to make available will in all likelihood highlight the power utility's "transgressions", such as the "expensive Gupta coal contracts". 

This is the view of Ted Blom of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA). 

In a statement issued on Friday, OUTA said it welcomes the decision by Nersa that Eskom must divulge detailed information as part of its tariff application. 

Fin24 reported that Nersa has given Eskom until August 31 to provide secret business information, including the cost of coal, as part of its application for a tariff increase.

Eskom had requested earlier this year to deviate from meeting certain requirements of the multi-year price determination (MYPD) methodology and the minimum information requirements for tariff application (MIRTA).

READ: Nersa orders Eskom to share secret info, including cost of coal 

Nersa decided not to grant Eskom's requests to keep certain cost information secret on the grounds that it was unable to provide such detailed information. 

OUTA said it raised an objection to Eskom's secrecy application through a written and verbal submission to Nersa. 

“We’re pleased that Nersa has instructed Eskom to provide the information and, as such, has acted in favour of the public,” says  Blom.

Outa said Nersa's decision not to grant Eskom's request is a significant step to ensure transparency regarding electricity prices. 

Nersa's decision means Eskom needs to give detailed information about its operating costs as part of its tariff application for 2018/19. 

Eskom is applying for a single year revenue application of a 19.9% tariff increase for the 2018/19 financial year. In addition, it wants municipalities to pay 27.3% more for bulk electricity purchases from July 1 2018.

READ: Eskom seeks 19.9% tariff increase - report 

OUTA says it believes Eskom has all the detailed information available "at the click of a mouse".

"This is not rocket science, but instead is basic operational management information that Eskom ought to have on an hourly, weekly, monthly and annual basis.

"It is our contention that Eskom is reluctant to display this information in detail, as it will show how inefficiently the organisation has been managed and how exorbitant its operating costs have become.

"When this is shown against the backdrop of the massive bonus that Eskom’s leadership have paid themselves, the public and Nersa will have significant questions that require answering," says Blom. 

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