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Join OUTA on Friday to oppose Eskom’s secrecy application

OUTA has again succeeded in convincing the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) of the need to hold Eskom to account, this time by agreeing to hold a public hearing on ESKOM’s application to keep certain of its operating statistics a secret.

“NERSA is holding a public hearing on Eskom’s secrecy application on Friday and we urge members to attend to help hold Eskom to account,” says Ted Blom, OUTA’s energy director.

The hearing is on Friday 7 July, from 11am to 2pm, at the NERSA head office at Kulawula House at 526 Madiba Street, Pretoria.

NERSA announced the hearing this week, after pressure from OUTA.

Anyone who wants to object to Eskom’s secrecy application should attend, as the period for written submissions has expired and only verbal representations are still allowed. Attendees and those wanting to make submissions must register in advance with Nersa at publichearings@Nersa.org

Friday’s public hearing wouldn’t be taking place without OUTA’s action.

In February, Eskom applied to NERSA for permission to keep secret critical statistics which should have been included in its upcoming Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) electricity price application, which will set electricity prices for 2018.

Last year, NERSA amended the MYPD rules after eight years of lobbying by energy expert Blom, who argued that Eskom was hiding corruption in its numbers. The amended NERSA rules require greater operational transparency from Eskom, including on its coal-burning operations.

But Eskom applied for exemption from publishing those statistics and Blom is having none of that.

“OUTA objected to these exemptions when stakeholders were asked to offer written comment earlier this year. In addition, OUTA informed NERSA that, in our opinion, NERSA is obliged to hold public hearings on this critical matter,” says Blom.

“OUTA will once again deliver its objection to Eskom’s application for exemption from revealing operating statistics, which we suspect will serve to hide actual amounts of ‘Gupta coal’ consumed by Eskom, thus promoting the consumption of coal that costs Eskom double the amount that it pays other suppliers,” says Blom.

You can read OUTA’s submission to NERSA on Eskom’s request here.

Read the NERSA notice on the hearing here.

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