South Africans will soon know exactly what to expect from Eskom

 ·15 Mar 2024

Energy regulator Nersa has made a decision to fully disclose all proposed tariff hikes and decisions in “high profile” matters to the public.

“In the past, (Nersa) would withhold certain information from the public until the final decision was published and regulated entities were informed of the decision,” Nersa said.

However, now decisions by its subcommittees, particularly the Electricity Subcommittee and the Petroleum Pipelines Subcommittee, will no longer withhold the exact number or decision, for example, the total percentage of allowed tariff/revenue being recommended to the Energy Regulator for approval

“This decision of the Energy Regulator is in keeping with section 8(9) of the National Energy Regulator Act, which mandates that all Energy Regulator meetings must be open to the public, with the exception being when discussing information that would require the Energy Regulator to refuse access under the Promotion of Access to Information Act,” the regulator said.

“This decision is a step towards greater transparency and accountability in Energy Regulator proceedings, particularly in cases involving applications from entities such as Eskom and Transnet.

“Moving forward, unless a resolution is passed to withhold information due to legal constraints, all subcommittees will fully disclose the intended recommendations to the Energy Regulator.”

The move by Nersa should avoid situations like the one seen in 2022 when the regulator’s committee deliberated for months on Eskom’s proposed tariff hikes for 2023 and 2024, leading to a couple of delays before only informing the nation of the massive hikes in January 2023.

South Africans had to bear the brunt of an 18.65% electricity hike in 2023 at relatively short notice, with the second part of the approved rate hike – 12.7% – hitting from April 2024.

Indications are that Eskom will again seek sizeable price hikes going forward, as the group pursues “cost-reflective” tariffs. The discussions and deliberations around these should now be more freely available to the public.

Read: More electricity price pain coming for South Africa

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