'Let's not fight like kids in court' - regulator concedes to treating Eskom unfairly

Meer as 16 000 MW se krag was oornag van lyn af. Foto: Getty Images
Meer as 16 000 MW se krag was oornag van lyn af. Foto: Getty Images
  • National Energy Regulator of South Africa's Nhlanhla Gumede said the regulator conceded to procedural unfairness in the court matter relating to its decision related to Eskom tariffs.
  • On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court reviewed and set aside the Nersa's decisions on the regulatory clearing account submissions and for the financial years 2015 to 2017. 
  • Nersa determined the balance to be R32 billion when Eskom had made an application for R67 billion for the three RCA balances.



The National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (Nersa) Nhlanhla Gumede has conceded to procedural unfairness when dealing with Eskom's tariff requests but has urged that the power utility engages directly with them instead of battling in court.

For much of the past decade, Eskom has not been granted the tariff requests it has put before the regulator as it sought to raise revenues to meet with building costs at Medupi and Kusile power stations in the Limpopo province. The regulator oversees tariffs for electricity, piped gas and petroleum industries.

Earlier this week, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria reviewed and set aside the Nersa's decisions on the regulatory clearing account submissions and for the financial years 2015 to 2017. Eskom wanted to recover R27.3 billion for the 2018/19 year for adjustments to primary energy costs, the use of open cycle gas turbines as well as employee benefits and sales volumes.

"These court cases are damaging. We are kids in a family fighting and instead of fighting within the family we fight in the courts. Only those who like stories and lawyers win in that situation," Gumede told reporters on Thursday.

Eskom said in a statement that the judgement sets aside the Nersa decision and found the failure to process the decisions within a reasonable time was inconsistent with the Constitution.

READ | Energy regulator grants Eskom approval to claw back R13.3bn in tariffs

The judgement accepts that Eskom put forward a proper case for relief in key areas where Nersa did not implement its methodology and precedents.

"Eskom awaits the judgement of the misappropriation of the equity injections of R69bn in the NERSA revenue decisions for the financial years 2020 to 2022. In this matter, Nersa again acknowledged that it incorrectly deducted the equity injections provided by the government," the Eskom statement said.

The statement said the outcomes of the judgments will ensure that Nersa "corrects the current poor decisions" and applies the rules when making determinations on Eskom's revenue applications.

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