Eskom says any tariff increases granted by energy regulator,  National Energy Regulator of South Africa( Nersa) should be phased in gradually and not be passed onto the consumer at one go. The power utility is asking for increases to recoup a shortfall of R66-billion.

Public hearings into the matter have started in Cape Town. Energy experts have called for a forensic investigation at Eskom, alleging that corruption is rife at the power utility.

“We are not expecting the consumer to pay this in one year, the methodology does allow for Nersa to phase this in over a number of years taking into account this balancing factor between the consumer as well as ensuring that Eskom is a sustainable organisation,”said Eskom Acting Chief Finance Officer, Callib Cassim.

Meanwhile, Nersa says it will be guided by the Constitution in making its final decision on whether to grant Eskom tariff increases. Various organisations, including Cosatu say the poor working class will feel the pinch if the increases are granted.

Energy experts say Eskom finds itself in financial trouble due to corruption.

“What we need to do during this process is taking in account the conflicting interests of obviously the interests of Eskom and make sure that Eskom will be sustainable in terms of continuing to supply electricity to the Republic but also to make sure that we are taking into account the impact of whatever cost or increase that Eskom is claiming the impact of that on consumers as well as on business,” says Nersa chairperson Nomfundo Maseti.

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