Immediately before plunging the country into further power rationing, Eskom took its regulator to court demanding more money to keep going. If it succeeds, already struggling electricity consumers will have to find more than R100-bn to help Eskom out. The economy can hardly keep up with the power costs already.
Electricity supplier Eskom has turned to the courts to recover the R69-billion cash bailout it received from the government, and to raise a further R40-billion by increasing electricity prices in order to solve its liquidity crunch over the next three years. On 10 October Eskom filed the claim at the high court, and in two separate claims, it also asked the court to review and order the regulator to open the process to permit Eskom to raise a further R34-billion through increased electricity prices.
The utility hopes to claw back the R34-billion in order to recover what it says are prudently incurred costs in its operational expenditure during the 2018 financial year, said Hasha Tlhotlhalemaje, Eskom's general manager for regulation. Under the revenue clearing account mechanism, Eskom can ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to permit it to recover prudently insured over-expenditure by raising electricity prices.