nersa

The South African energy regulator has set a public hearing date for Eskom’s secrecy application following pressure from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).

OUTA’s energy portfolio director, Ted Blom, said: “NERSA is holding a public hearing on Eskom’s secrecy application on Friday and we urge members to attend to help hold Eskom to account.”

The hearing is on Friday 7 July, from 11am to 2pm, at the NERSA head office at Kulawula House at 526 Madiba Street, Pretoria.

Eskom secrecy application

OUTA explained that in February, Eskom applied to NERSA for permission to keep secret critical statistics, which should have been included in its upcoming Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) electricity price application, which will set electricity prices for 2018.

“Last year, NERSA amended the MYPD rules after eight years of lobbying by energy expert Blom, who argued that Eskom was hiding corruption in its numbers,” the organisation said.

The amended NERSA rules require greater operational transparency from Eskom, including on its coal-burning operations, they added.

However, Eskom applied for exemption from publishing those statistics, a decision that is being challenged.

“OUTA objected to these exemptions when stakeholders were asked to offer written comment earlier this year. In addition, OUTA informed NERSA that, in our opinion, NERSA is obliged to hold public hearings on this critical matter,” Blom said.

Blom stressed: “OUTA will once again deliver its objection to Eskom’s application for exemption from revealing operating statistics, which we suspect will serve to hide actual amounts of ‘Gupta coal’ consumed by Eskom, thus promoting the consumption of coal that costs Eskom double the amount that it pays other suppliers.”

You can read OUTA’s submission to NERSA on Eskom’s request here.

Read the NERSA notice on the hearing here.