Eskom
eskom+shadow. Credit Sunday Times
Senior regulatory manager suspended after NERSA declines Eskom’s selective reopener.

South African state-owned power utility Eskom has suspended its senior regulatory manager Hasha Tlhotlhalemaje who was responsible for the Eskom selective reopener of the third multi-year price determination.

The suspension was confirmed by two independent sources who disclosed this information to South African online investment site MoneyWeb.

NERSA reaches decision

Last month, the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) dismissed state-owned power utility Eskom’s selective reopener of the third multi-year price determination (MYPD) for Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) and Short-term Power Purchase Programme (STPPP) and the increase in environmental levy, asking for a 25.3% tariff hike.

This decision followed a two day public hearing in Johannesburg where members of the public were invited to express their views and opinions on the power utility’s selective reopener.

NERSA chairman Jacob Modise said: “Eskom should submit an application for the adjustment in the allowed revenue in accordance with the MYPD methodology.”

Alternatively Eskom can submit a new application for period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019 with indicative projections for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021.

He added: “The energy regulator did not consider the environmental levy increase as it was not gazetted.”

According to NERSA, Eskom withdrew its environmental levy application during the public hearings last week.

Modise continued: “The application did not provide the mechanism, on how the proposed increase, if granted, can be implemented in the current financial year in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) number 56 of 2003.”

Going forward

MoneyWeb reported that Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe stated that the utility now has to decide between the two options mooted by Nersa; apply for a full re-opener of MYPD3, including 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18, or tackle an early MYPD4, stretching from 2016/17 – 2020/2021.

According to NERSA, the regulator needs six months to process the application. Indicating that should Eskom want to reapply, their documentation needs to be submitted by the end of September this year.

Prior to this Eskom has to legally consult local government association Salga and National Treasury where a comment period of 40 days is required.

 

ESI Africa is currently awaiting comment from Eskom on the suspension and will update this story on receipt of their response.