Nersa to begin hearings on electricity tariffs

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)  — which sets prices and tariffs for power utility Eskom — will on Monday start a series of nationwide public hearings on what South Africans will be paying for electricity.

Over the course of three weeks, Nersa will hold hearings on what the debt-laden power utility will get to charge for electricity in years ahead, and what it can recoup from shortfalls in 2017/18.

READ MORE: Is the load-shedding holiday over?

The hearings commence on Monday in Cape Town. The energy price regulator will hear from, among others, Eskom chief financial officer Calib Cassim, a representative of the the South African Local Government Association, advisers to the mining and energy industry, and representatives from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).

The hearings continue in Cape Town on Tuesday, with members of the public set to testify, before moving on to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

Hearings will wrap up in Gauteng in late January or early February. The regulator will announce its decision on March 1.

Eskom announced in October 2018 that it has asked Nersa for a 15% tariff increase per year for the three financial years. The regulator has in the past at times not granted the full tariff increases Eskom has asked for.

Eskom said it wants Nersa to allow revenue of R219-billion for 2019/20, R252-billion for 2020/21 and R291-billion for 2021/22. For this to occur, it would need an increase of 15% a year, said Eskom.

Debt and load shedding

The national power utility is about R420-billion in debt and has been seeking ways to reduce its liabilities.

In mid-December President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a task team to advise government on how to resolve the power utility’s operational, structural and financial challenges.

READ MORE: Your guide to surviving 2019

In late 2018, it was forced to implemented load shedding due to a combination of factors including plant breakdowns, urgent plant maintenance, lower-than-expected output from the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations,and damage to the power transmission lines linking South Africa to the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam in Mozambique.


Although it was able to keep the lights on over Christmas and New Years due to lower demand from business and industry, Eskom has said that load shedding may again be on the cards in early January. — Fin24

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Carin Smith
Carin Smith
A business journalist at Fin24.com.
Jan Cronje
Jan Cronje
Fin24 Journalist based in Cape Town.
Advertising

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday