JOHANNESBURG – Eskom is hoping the courts will move swiftly to address its dispute with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) over tariff hikes.
The High Court in Pretoria on Monday dismissed the power utility’s application to have the matter heard on an urgent basis.
The cash strapped state-owned entity (SOE) wanted the court to review and set aside Nersa’s multi-year price determination decision arguing it was ill-informed.
If Nersa has its way, tariffs would increase by just over 8% in the current financial year and 5.2% in the next one. But Eskom said this decision was based on the misreading of a R69 billion injection from government which the utility said was incorrectly recorded as revenue.
“If Eskom has its way, it would be refunded the R69 billion or R23 billion per year over the next three years through a higher tariff,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
Mantshantsha said they wanted the matter put to rest soon.
“We hope that the court will proceed with this in a speedy manner. The judge has said that this will be dealt with in the normal court process,” he said.
Eskom said Nersa’s decision in its current form would result in cash flow problems for the SOE.
Meanwhile, Eskom said it would be suspending load shedding at 6am on Tuesday to ease congestion on the roads during the morning peak traffic period. However, the utility would then reinstate stage one blackouts from 9am, owing to what it said was a shortage of capacity.
The parastatal said its teams were working to reduce unplanned breakdowns at its aging power stations and they were carrying out critical maintenance.
Eskom said it would be providing daily updates on the grid and it reminded South Africans to expect load shedding for the next 18 months.