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Nersa tariff decision considered, Eskom, consumer and economy, court told

Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) squared off in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday in a fight that could see consumers pay 16% more for electricity.

Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Judgment has been reserved in the case between the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) and Eskom, which wants higher consumer tariffs.

Parties squared off in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday in a fight that could see consumers pay 16% more for electricity.

Nersa has deducted the R69 billion government bailout amount from Eskom's approved revenue for the current tariff period, ending in March 2022.

The deduction means Eskom will get less than what it had budgeted for with regards to tariffs.

Eskom’s Hasha Tlhothlhalemaje explained: “So what Nersa did, was basically reverse that and didn’t allow it to be a support to the Eskom balance sheet but gave it as a subsidy to the consumer.”

Nersa argued if Eskom wins this application, the price of electricity will rise from the approved 8.1% increase for this year to 16% with a 5.22% increase for next year.

The regulator said that Eskom’s incompetence and maladministration had resulted in the public forking out more money.

In its answering affidavit, Nersa said its decision carefully weighed Eskom's sustainability, what consumers can afford and the impact on the economy.

It argued that granting Eskom the bailout money would have resulted in excess returns in the three-year tariff window.

The court hasn't indicated when it will deliver a judgment.

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