Nersa cancels Eskom's public hearings

Nersa has cancelled the Eskom public hearings in three provinces due to 'a lack of interest'.

If Eskom's application is successful, electricity tariffs could rise by up to 16 percent. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has cancelled the Eskom public hearings in three provinces due to "a lack of interest".

Public hearings into the power giant's application to recoup R22.8-billion took place in Port Elizabeth today after kicking off in Cape Town.

The hearings move to Durban tomorrow but will no longer take place in Nelspruit, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.

They are scheduled for Johannesburg on 4 and 5 February.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said, "The regulator said presentations for Bloemfontein, Mpumalanga and Polokwane have been cancelled because of lack of interest in those areas. It must be understood that this is a Nersa process."

If Eskom's application is successful, electricity tariffs could rise by up to 16 percent.

ESKOM TO KEEP LIGHTS ON DESPITE OUTCOME OF TARIFF INCREASE APPLICATION

Eskom has assured the country that the lights will stay on even if its application to recover billions of rands is turned down by Nersa.

The parastatal is looking to recoup just under R23 billion, but its application for a tariff hike has been met with opposition from big business and trade unions, among others.

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Agri Western Cape are vehemently opposed to Eskom's bid to claw back billions of rands.

Both bodies said the electricity tariff increase that would result, would be unaffordable.

Their views have been echoed by other interested parties that have made submissions to Nersa.