The National Energy Regulator (Nersa) has approved the R32.69-billion Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application made by Eskom in a bid to recover funds lost during the 2014/15 – 2016/17 financial years.
The public enterprise is facing financial challenges, and also applied for tariff hikes in an effort to boost income.
Originally, Eskom had applied for an RCA balance of R66.6-billion from Nersa. The R32.69-billion granted by the regulator will serve to cover the financial loss of what has become known as ‘the Gupta years’. Nersa said that these funds would also be recovered through standard tariff customers, and added that the decision to grant the application was reached after conducting regulatory processes.
Nersa chairperson, Jacob Modise, said that the RCA is necessitated by the fact that the revenue and expenditure approved for Eskom is largely based on forecasts. “It is a tool used to manage the risk of excess or inadequate returns on Eskom’s part,” Modise said.
Acting Chief Financial Officer of Eskom, Caleb Caasim, said that the public enterprise is currently studying the decision.
“In considering or assessing the RCA application, the energy regulator only allows expenditure that has passed the efficiency and prudency test,” said Modise.
Eskom is now also facing protest action after saying that it was unable to offer salary increases.
The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, Eskom Board Members and departmental officials met with leaders from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Wednesday. Gordhan gave his word that Eskom would not come back to the wage negotiation table with their current offer of a 0% increase.
Gordhan also agreed to the meeting to understand the concerns of organized labour about the wage dispute.
The concerns expressed included the manner in which the wage negotiations had been conducted, allegations that the Independent Power Producers program was out jobs within the mining sector, and the 0% wage offer.