- Eskom is compelled to apologise to South Africans for bringing these challenges. They were avoidable” said Eskom CEO, Mr Phakamani Hadebe at the start of Nersa’s public hearing consultation process in Cape Town this morning.
- Eskom is requesting an annual tariff increase of 15% for the next three years.
- Eskom debt which stood at R380bn at the beginning of last year has since grown to over R419bn”.
“Eskom as an entity has contributed to the problems it and the country are facing. Eskom deserves to apologise. It is compelled to apologise to South Africans for bringing these challenges. They were avoidable” said Eskom CEO, Mr Phakamani Hadebe at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa) nationwide public hearings, which started in Cape Town earlier today.
The apology comes as Eskom is requesting an annual tariff increase of 15% for the next three years from Nersa whose task it is to set tariffs for the power utility.
“Eskom has requested a 15% tariff increase over the next three years – this looks steep. We will agree, but Eskom’s finances have reached a stage where Eskom, alone, cannot solve all the challenges it is facing,” Hadebe explained to the Nersa panel.
He added “There have been cost-cutting initiatives to help improve the financial situation; however, Eskom has a ‘balance sheet’ problem. Debt which stood at R380bn at the beginning of last year has since grown to over R419bn”.
The cost-cutting initiatives are not enough to save the balance sheet, and he called for a collective approach. “Painful decisions will be required by Eskom, South Africans and the shareholder (government)”, said Hadebe.
The nationwide hearings will take place over the next three weeks in all major city centres. Hearings will wrap up in Gauteng in late January or early February. Nersa will announce its decision on the 1st March 2019.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal