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Where will the money come from if Nersa approves Eskom's tariff hike?

Yesterday, Eskom said it believed it had a strong case for increased tariffs.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Questions have been raised about where budget will come from should the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) approve Eskom's tariff hike.

Public hearings commenced earlier this week in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban into the parastatal's application for a 16.6 percent increase to recoup R22.8 billion.

The hearings will end in Johannesburg in the first week of February before Nersa makes a decision about whether or not it will approve the hike.

Energy analyst Dirk de Vos says, "What you then have is 'well, we sold less than what we thought we were going to get so now we're going to have to ask for more for that which we did in fact did sell'. So it's a spiral that we have to be very cautious of. Eskom has to become far more effective."

Yesterday, Eskom said it believed it had a strong case for increased tariffs but if Nersa turned it down, it would be in a tough financial situation.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said, "Part of the R22 billion comes from loans we have secured with some of our funders. Whether [or not] the regulator gives us the money back, we still have to pay back the money."

NERSA CANCELS ESKOM'S PUBLIC HEARINGS

Nersa last week cancelled the Eskom public hearings in three provinces due to "a lack of interest".

The hearings were cancelled in Durban Nelspruit, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.

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."