Tough balancing act for Eskom

Eskom officials had to explain to Parliamentarians why they requested a 16 percent yearly tariff hike.

Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Eskom on Friday said it has to take extraordinary measures to keep the country's lights on.

Officials from the power giant had to explain to Parliamentarians why they requested a 16 percent yearly tariff increase, for the next five years.

Eskom officials reiterated throughout the presentation that the power utility was dealing with a tough balancing act.

The parastatal's head of regulatory and legal, Mohamed Adam, explained that they were acutely aware of the impact tariff increases had on the poor and the economy.

Tariffs are fairer than drawing funds from taxpayers, he said.

Adam said Eskom opted to change to a five-year pricing model, as opposed to a three-year one, in order help cushion the rising costs.

He said there were no easy choices in applying for increases with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Adams believes tariff increases are necessary.

Eskom said it also wanted to regulate the costs of coal to offset massive increases in the future.