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Eskom Tariffs: Now Nersa takes Eskom to court to keep prices down

Nersa has appealed to interested parties to join its high court application opposing Eskom’s bid to claw back R13 billion from consumers.

eskom outages covid-19

Image: Gallo Images/Papi Morake

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has announced that it will oppose Eskom’s court bid to have the regulator’s decision regarding the power utility’s claim to claw back more than R13 billion from consumers reviewed and overturned.

Nersa has also invited interested and affected parties to join it in its application to oppose Eskom’s court bid to have its decision reviewed.

“Nersa confirms that at its meeting held on 28 April 2021, the Energy Regulator resolved to oppose the High Court application brought by Eskom Holdings SOC Limited (Eskom) against NERSA to review and set aside the energy regulator’s decision pertaining to the approval of a Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) balance of R13.271 billion for the 2018/19 financial year, and the Energy Regulator’s decision to grant Eskom’s supplementary revenue balance of R1.288 billion in respect of the 2018/19 financial year,” Nersa said.

Nersa said that it had received the Eskom judicial review application on 12 April 2021

“In arriving at the decision to oppose the application, Nersa considered the factual matrix and the applicable regulatory and legal principles,” Nersa said.

Nersa added that it had further considered the impact of Eskom’s continuous court review applications on the government’s economic recovery plans, as well as the hardships its court challanges created for customers. If Eskom wins its court bid it will result in even higher electricity prices for consumers. 

“In this regard, interested stakeholders are welcomed to join Nersa in opposing the review application if they consider that the court decision may negatively affect them,” Nersa said.

“NERSA will be opposing the judicial review application within the required time frame and process.”

In an earlier court challenge in February Eskom won a consent order resulting in higher tariffs projected for consumers. The consent order, handed down in the North Gauteng High Court, allowed debt-strapped Eskom to recover a further R10 billion from customers in 2021/22. Nersa said at the time that consumers could expect price increases of more than 15% after the court ordered that the amount of R10 billion be added to Eskom’s allowable revenue to be recovered from tariff customers in the 2021/22 financial year.