Outa has slammed Eskom in a statement where it welcomes a decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the utility’s call for a tariff increase.

Nersa rejected Eskom’s submission for a bigger increase last week.

The organisation has said that it welcomes Nersa’s decision to stick to a 2.2% tariff increase but is shocked at Eskom’s reasons for requesting an even greater increase.

“We are appalled that Eskom has cited current ‘hardships’ as the reason for requesting a much higher increase, especially since these so-called hardships are self-inflicted and exist due to poor leadership,” says Outa portfolio director for energy matters Ted Blom.

The director says that Eskom’s poor leadership was exposed in a recent Denton’s report.

Outa hopes that this refusal to increase tariffs will force Eskom to turn its eyes inward and scrutinise wasteful operational processes.

“Unless comprehensive action is taken to stop the rot and apprehend the perpetrators within and outside of Eskom, it will not be able to fulfil its role as the nation’s electricity provider,” said Blom.

Outa alleges that should a detailed commission of enquiry take place, evidence of looting, fraud and organised crime will come to light.

“The people of South Africa are not Eskom’s ‘piggy-bank’ to tap into each time Eskom gets its forecasts and overspending wrong,” said the organisation.

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