AfriForum criticizes Eskom corruption and maladministration
The civil rights organisation AfriForum today submitted written comments to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) regarding the electricity increase Eskom requested for the 2022/2023, 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 financial years. Although Eskom’s debt burden has been eased, the power utility is still plagued by the lack of careful expense management, procurement management and maladministration. These costs should not be included in the calculations of the increase for the year’s electricity tariff. Eskom applied for a 20,5% increase for the 2022/2023 financial year.
“Nersa has the mandate to protect the consumer. Only prudent expenses can be recovered from consumers and this means that Nersa cannot overlook the fact that Eskom still faces a procurement crisis after many years of audits which points out this problem. Nersa cannot allow the tariff to continue to increase at the rate it has increased over the last decade,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Manager for Local Government Affairs.
“If it is not possible for Eskom to function optimally as the law requires, opportunities must be created for other role-players to also participate in the generation of energy. The question, however, is how Eskom will do if its performance is measured against a private generator?” says Mostert.
Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum, says that such an increase can have a fundamental effect on the economy. “The public lives with Eskom’s self-generated crisis in the form of loadshedding and now, in the midst of a struggling economy and massive unemployment, we are being asked to bear even more exorbitant increases. It is unacceptable,” says Brink.
AfriForum will also make a presentation to Nersa regarding the tariff increase.