Energy expert, Ted Blom, has raised concerns over Eskom’s continuing financial losses, saying electricity tariff increases is going to contribute negatively to the country’s economy.

This as the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) prepares to appeal a High Court decision, allowing Eskom to implement a phased recovery. The judgment will see the struggling power utility recover R69 billion over three years, resulting in tariff increases.

Eskom has welcomed the court ruling, saying it allows the power utility to migrate to a position where it could be self-sufficient and recoup efficient costs.

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The first of Eskom’s tariff increases are expected to take place from April next year. The High Court found that NERSA acted illegally when deducting a R69 billion equity injection into Eskom.

“The fact of the matter is that if Eskom gets the tariff increase, it is just going to kill this economy and further contribute to the debt spiral of Eskom. Eskom is on a journey to grab as much money out of the economy as they can. They already grabbed R1.3 trillion more than what they should have gotten in the last 12 years, notwithstanding new management who were supposed to clean up the organisation. Just yesterday there was another revelation of another R14 billion of fraud and corruption within Eskom. The regulator seems to want to clean up its act but I am not convinced that everything is kosher there,” explains Blom.