Eskom price hike hear­ings set for city

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

THE NA­TIONAL En­ergy Reg­u­la­tor of South Africa (Nersa) will be hold­ing pub­lic hear­ings in Kim­ber­ley later this month on Eskom’s Third Multi-year Price De­ter­mi­na­tion (MYPD3) Reg­u­la­tory Clear­ing Ac­count (RCA) Year 5 (2017/18) and MYPD4 ap­pli­ca­tions.

The pub­lic hear­ings for the North­ern Cape will be held at the Kim­ber­ley Big Hole in West Cir­cu­lar Road on Jan­uary 21.

The pro­grammes for the pub­lic hear­ings will be avail­able on Nersa’s web­site at www.nersa.org. za by Fri­day, Jan­uary 13.

Eskom has ap­plied for a 45% multi-year tar­iff in­crease (on top of an al­ready ap­proved 12% in­crease).

En­ergy ex­pert, Ted Blom, has mean­while called on Eskom to scrap its ap­pli­ca­tion, stat­ing that the util­ity should not be granted any in­creases un­til a full foren­sic au­dit has been com­pleted.

“As we now en­ter 2019, Eskom is rud­der­less,” Blom said. “The Eskom board has proved to be dys­func­tional and re­quired Min­is­te­rial in­ter­ven­tion on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. Although ap­pointed 12 months ago, they have been un­able to carve out a cred­i­ble turn­around plan, de­spite the use of ex­pen­sive out­side con­sul­tants.”

Blom fur­ther pointed out the skills short­age has lead to the Pres­i­dent in­ter­ven­ing by ap­point­ing “eight wise men” to steer the board in the right di­rec­tion by a dead­line set for Jan­uary 31 2019.

“The many fu­tile in­ter­ven­tions point to an un­sal­vage­able and bank­rupt Eskom,” said Blom. “In fact, the pil­lag­ing is still con­tin­u­ing, this time by an­other ‘third force’ which has re­placed the Zupta gang.”

He stated that the ex­tent of the pil­lag­ing had al­ready been con­firmed by the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor, the Par­lia­men­tary In­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port, the Den­tons re­port, and in Eskom’s an­nual re­port where it ref­er­ences cor­rup­tion over 30 times.

“Ques­tions remain as to why no-one has been pros­e­cuted and no mone­tary re­cov­ery has oc­curred.

“Throw­ing coal on the fire is an ac­knowl­edge­ment of se­ri­ous de­sign flaws at Medupi and Kusile, re­sult­ing in an es­ti­mated 10% or more per­for­mance in­ca­pac­ity – ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Gord­han’s lat­est reve­la­tions. Yet Eskom kept this quiet since the first com­mis­sion be­gan in 2012,” Blom added

“Where are the au­di­tors and Eskom Gov­er­nance struc­tures in all this mess?”

Blom fur­ther pointed out that Eskom had also ac­knowl­edged coal pro­cure­ments lapses of late.

Ac­cord­ing to Blom, ram­pant coal pro­cure­ment fraud has been on­go­ing since 2006, and Eskom has ig­nored or blessed this on­go­ing fraud an­nu­ally.

“Although Eskom has ac­knowl­edged a bloated head­count (es­ti­mates are at 35 000, in­clud­ing ghost work­ers), Nersa con­tin­ues to ig­nore the gross in­ef­fi­cien­cies and has, since 2008, granted tar­iff in­creases of some 500% above the cor­re­spond­ing in­fla­tion rate.

“This has just fu­eled and fi­nanced the ram­pant cor­rup­tion,” claimed Blom.

Still to be un­cov­ered is the ac­tual loss been forced onto Eskom as a re­sult of gov­ern­ment’s cor­rupt re­new­able schemes, he said.

“Last year, it sucked around R34 bil­lion from Eskom rev­enue and is des­tined to in­crease to R50 bil­lion for this year.”

An­other 14 GW of REIPP is in the pipe­line on top of the cur­rently ap­proved 6 GW and Blom sug­gested that this will “kill off” Eskom within months as lenders can see the writ­ing on the wall.

Blom in­tends rep­re­sent­ing elec­tric­ity users at the North­ern Cape pub­lic hear­ing venues as well as all other pro­vin­cial hear­ings.

“Against these dire cir­cum­stances, it is not ap­pro­pri­ate for Eskom to pro­ceed with their ‘busi­ness as usual’ tar­iff in­crease ap­pli­ca­tions,” Blom stated.

Your Col­lege - Your Fu­ture

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