The DA will request that Nersa urgently enter into negotiations with BHP Billiton regarding the Special Pricing Agreement that they have with Eskom in procuring electricity that is significantly below the price which other companies and individuals currently pay.
The DA welcomes the fact that a court ruling has finally forced Eskom and BHP Billiton to reveal precisely the costs at which electricity is sold, as for many years this arrangement has remained shrouded in secrecy.
The DA has consistently spoken out on this issue in Parliament. In our submission to Nersa on the latest price application to Eskom we emphasised the need for all remaining Special Pricing Agreements to be renegotiated.
It is now clear that BHP Billiton is in fact paying less for its electricity than it costs Eskom to produce it. Given that the three smelters of BHP Billiton utilise as much as 9 percent of South Africa's electricity and that our country is currently in an energy crisis with the electricity reserve margin dropping to as low as 1 percent, it is clear that urgent action must be taken to renegotiate this agreement.
The DA believes that all electricity that is sold in South Africa should be done so under NERSA's regulated tariff book and that no one company should be given an unfair advantage that is not available to anyone else.
We would therefore urge BHP Billiton to enter into negotiations in good faith and a willingness to find a solution that will benefit South Africa.
Lance Greyling, Shadow Minister of Energy