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Eskom: Buying diesel was last resort

The parastatal says it’s been prudent & transparent in its application for a tariff increase for this year.

Eskom's chairperson Zola Tsotsi revealed the power utility will be suspending four executives as part of an independent inquiry into the business at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg on 12 March 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN
eskom,eskom load shedding,National Energy Regulator of South Africa NERSA,Nersa,Eskom tariff hikes
Local Business

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom has argued that it has been prudent and transparent in its application for a tariff hike for this year, saying the buying of diesel was a last resort.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is holding public hearings in Midrand today before deciding whether or not to increase electricity prices by 16.6 percent

Eskom says it needs to recover R22.8 billion, some of which was spent on buying diesel to operate open cycle gas turbines.

It says it bought diesel in order to operate the open cycle gas turbines and avoid load shedding.

But this cost billions of rand and the utility's argument is that the impact of load shedding would have been far greater.

Eskom’s Anoj Singh says, “We do believe that we have been balanced in our assessment of claiming for what we think is prudent given the content and age of the plants and the efficiency at which we ran it.”

Meanwhile, a small group from the Right2Know Campaign is picketing outside Gallagher Estate.

Campaign members are demonstrating, holding placards that say Eskom cannot increase tariffs.

Spokesperson Bongani Xezwi says they want Nersa to reject the application.

“It’s going to create problems with the users and what we’re saying is that we’ve seen less transparency and less consultation in terms of management. Eskom needs to start investing in solar.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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