Nersa de­nies Eskom its claw-back es­ti­mates

The Mercury - - BUSINESS REPORT - Siseko Njobeni

ESKOM’S hopes for a huge fi­nan­cial in­jec­tion were dealt a blow after the Na­tional En­ergy Reg­u­la­tor of South Africa (Nersa) said the power util­ity could re­cover only R32.69 bil­lion through the Reg­u­la­tory Clear­ing Ac­count (RCA).

The amount is less than half the R66.6bn that Eskom wanted to claw back from con­sumers for the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 fi­nan­cial years.

In its de­ci­sion – which came after an ex­ten­sive public con­sul­ta­tion process – Nersa said Eskom could claw back R12.6bn for 2014/15, R12bn for 2015/16 and R8bn for 2016/17.

Yes­ter­day Nersa chair­per­son Ja­cob Modise high­lighted the gover­nance prob­lems at Eskom.

He said that at the time it made the RCA de­ci­sion, the ex­tent of the gover­nance fail­ures at Eskom was un­known.

Modise said Nersa might launch its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the gover­nance fail­ures.

“Our chal­lenge has been and still re­mains reg­u­lat­ing the en­ergy in­dus­try in a man­ner that bal­ances the in­ter­ests of en­ergy pro­duc­ers on the one hand and those of con­sumers on the other.

“This is never an easy task, for in­evitably it is in­flu­enced by the greater eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment, both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, and as di­rected by the pol­icy en­vi­ron­ment of the govern­ment,” said Modise.

The RCA is a back­ward-look­ing mech­a­nism that seeks to rec­on­cile what Nersa awarded Eskom on the ba­sis of what was fore­cast in the Multi-Year Price De­ter­mi­na­tion (MYPD) and what ma­te­ri­alised, as re­flected in the util­ity’s fi­nan­cial state­ments.

In its ap­pli­ca­tion, Eskom said it wanted to re­cover R19.2bn in the 2014/15 fi­nan­cial year, R23.6bn in 2015/16 and R23.8bn in 2016/17. In 2014/15, Eskom wanted to re­cover R10.5bn for

pri­mary en­ergy, R8bn in 2015/16 and R2.6bn in 2016/17.

Eskom said yes­ter­day that it had noted the de­ci­sion and would give a de­tailed com­ment once it had re­ceived the rea­sons for the de­ci­sion.

“We made the ap­pli­ca­tion guided by the prin­ci­ples em­bed­ded in the MYPD method­ol­ogy in mak­ing RCA ap­pli­ca­tions. We ad­hered to these prin­ci­ples and in ad­di­tion, we ap­plied the prin­ci­ples of the Nersa RCA de­ci­sion on our RCA ap­pli­ca­tion for the first year of the MYPD 3 pe­riod in 2016,” said Eskom act­ing chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Calib Cas­sim.

The En­ergy In­ten­sive User Group of South­ern Africa said yes­ter­day that it would com­ment later on the R32.69bn RCA bal­ance.

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