Johannesburg, 15 Sep 2017
The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has lambasted the power utility and the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) over lack of transparency.
Eskom and NERSA yesterday postponed SAWEA's bid to have the utility investigated over its "continued unwillingness to fulfil its mandate as purchaser of power duly procured by the Department of Energy".
Yesterday, Eskom asked NERSA for a 19.9% tariff hike for 2018/19. In a statement issued yesterday, Eskom said it welcomes NERSA's approval of the consultation process for Eskom's 2018/19 revenue application.
SAWEA and its legal counsel have strongly objected to both Eskom's lack of engagement and the national regulator's refusal to open yesterday's hearing to the public, which is inconsistent with SA's constitutional principles of openness, transparency and fairness, as well as NERSA's own legislation, the wind body says.
It points out SAWEA declared a power procurement dispute in October 2016, requesting the regulator to undertake an investigation into Eskom's continued unwillingness to fulfil its mandate as purchaser of power duly procured by the Department of Energy.
In March 2017, the national regulator responded to this complaint by launching a formal investigation into Eskom's conduct. A hearing for both parties to make submissions was scheduled for 14 September.
However, SAWEA says the hearing began on two disappointing notes: firstly, Eskom arrived with a plea for postponement, citing "communications challenges" that had prevented the utility from adequately preparing its submissions, both written and verbal, despite several correspondences between NERSA and the parties, clearly indicating the timeframes to be adhered to.
Secondly, NERSA had declared the hearing closed to the public, and would not allow members of media who had arrived, to join the hearing, the organisation charges.