OUTA argues for 0% Eskom tariff increase

Wayne Duvenage, the chairperson of OUTA (Jan Gerber, News24)
Wayne Duvenage, the chairperson of OUTA (Jan Gerber, News24)

Cape Town - Anti-corruption advocacy group The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has submitted to national energy regulator Nersa that state power utility Eskom should receive no price increase next year, citing "fraudulent over-forecasts".

Eskom has asked the regulator for an effective 19.9% increase in electricity tariffs for the 2018/19 financial year. 

Nersa is currently reviewing Eskom’s application, as well as submissions from stakeholders and the public into what price increase should be granted.  

In a statement on Monday, OUTA said that Eskom was “not an efficient operator and hence is not legally entitled to any additional cost recovery”. 

“South Africa’s economy can no longer be captured by deliberate and fraudulent over-forecasts which guarantee Eskom massive price increases (its own projections run at 20% per year for five years) – which must then be funded by an embattled public with little recourse from an unsympathetic and seemingly biased Nersa,” said the group. 

Way forward

In mid-September, Nersa announced that Eskom had applied for a “total allowable revenue of R219bn” for the 2018/19 financial year. 

This translated to a 19.9% increase in electricity tariffs. 

Friday October 13, was the closing date for stakeholder comments on the proposed increases. From October 30 to November 17, Nersa will hold public hearings into the price increases, starting in the Western cape and ending in Gauteng. 

It is set to make its final decision on Thursday December 7. 

Last week the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute also asked Nersa to halt tariffs increases for Eskom, unless it developed plans for sustainable energy. 

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