Energy expert slams Nersa, says Eskom hearings are talk shops

Ted Blom says the national regulator’s hearings into Eskom have been ‘bitterly disappointing.’

FILE: Prices could further increase if Eskom’s application to recover more than R22 billion is approved by the National Energy Regulator (Nersa). Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - An energy analyst says electricity tariffs have increased by more than 700 percent since 2007.

The power utility says this is to make up for more than R11 billion in lost revenue and a further R8 billion it's spent on diesel.

Nersa is holding public hearings where big business and trade unions have roundly opposed the parastatal's application.

Energy expert, Ted Blom says consumers should be looking forward to a price decrease.

"What everyone has conveniently forgotten is they have admitted that for five years they haven't done any maintenance and if you had a maintenance budget of R14 billion a year over five years that comes to R70 billion and that should be paid back to you and me as the consumer."

Public hearings into Eskom's application to recoup almost R23 billion have been dismissed as 'talk shops'.

Nersa is hosting the series of hearings countrywide.

If granted, it may result in a 16 percent increase in electricity tariffs.

Blom says the Nersa hearings have been 'bitterly disappointing' so far.

"Nersa is not behaving like a regulator, they're behaving like an observer - a privileged observer."

He says Eskom only has itself to blame for its financial woes.

"I've referred to numerous incidents of bribery and corruption, but still, no action."

Blom is expected to make presentations on behalf of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance at the Johannesburg leg of the Nersa hearings next week.