Nersa to only rule on Eskom tariff hike next week

Nersa to only rule on Eskom tariff hike next week

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Top news this week on Eskom tariff hike application.

A decision on Eskom’s controversial tariff hike request will now only be made public on Wednesday next week, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced on Monday.

The regulator concluded its month-long, country-wide hearings on whether the state utility should be granted a 19.9% hike, at the end of November.

Nersa said in a statement that it needed more time to consider the information presented at the hearings, after promising to announce the decision on Thursday. It said it received more than 23 000 submissions on the subject.

The regulator said its research committee would carefully consider all the submissions, before handing their finding over to the electricity committee, who will then make a final recommendation to Nersa executives.

Despite a flood of opposition at the hearings, Eskom did not back down from its original request.

Eskom’s acting finance chief Calib Cassim made a desperate plea on the last day of the hearings, saying that a hike in line with the consumer price index (CPI), as requested by countless organisations, simply was not sustainable and that Eskom needed the 19.9% to stay afloat.

“Eskom is not financially sustainable with a CPI price increase as this would imply an average price increase of 4%,” he said.

He said that South Africans would ultimately have to choose between a bailout and the tariff hike if it wanted to power utility to survive the coming storm.

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