Eskom says it has not applied to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for R1.8 billion to pay performance bonuses, as reported in a Sunday newspaper.
The power utility said in a statement on Tuesday (7 January), that its application for the three year period did not include any allocation for performance bonuses.
However, it does include a provision for an annual bonus which is the equivalent of a 13th cheque and forms part of employees’ normal remuneration package, it said.
“For those employees for whom a 13th cheque is not part of their conditions of service (i.e non-union employees), an option is given to structure their package to provide for a 13th cheque without increasing their overall compensation.
“In keeping with a board decision reflecting the poor performance of the business, no performance bonuses have been paid to employees in the last two years.”
Eskom added that Nersa incorrectly disallowed these contractual costs, and therefore, they do not form part of the allowed revenue granted to Eskom.
The increased scrutiny on Eskom’s spending comes as South Africa constantly lives under the threat of daily power cuts.
The company was able to avert power cuts for much of the festive period as many businesses closed during the holiday, however, it was forced to implement stage 2 load shedding again over the past weekend.
While no power cuts have been scheduled for this week, Eskom has warned that its system is under strain.
Businesses are expected to return by mid-January, which will increase the demand for electricity. “The system remains constrained and vulnerable, and as such load-shedding stage 2 will, unfortunately, have to continue,” Eskom said.