May 29, 2008
Nersa settles into deliberation mode after intensive hearing processBack
© Reuse this After having received more than 370 submissions and counting, and having posed over 150 questions to more than 40 presenters in its now concluded electricity tariff public hearings, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) now has to reach a decision on whether or not to grant an increase to State-owned Eskom by June 18.
This was highlighted by the fact that, despite the closing date for submissions having passed, some were still rolling in - and Nersa had committed to interrogate even the late submissions.
Bukula said that there had been a common theme to many of the presentations, which was that there should be "smoothed" pricing methodology over a five-year period
This, however, left Nersa with a conundrum, as Eskom had only applied for a hike for 2008/9, and had only submitted figures and forecasts covering this year, relating to primary energy and demand-side management costs.
"For us to be able to say we can phase this, we need much more than we have been given," Bukula said in a telephone interview from Pretoria.
"We need an application that shows us the projections for the other years, so it's very difficult."
"To really get to the figures and numbers, we need figures and numbers and forecasts and budgets from Eskom to be able to pin it down," stated Bukula.
Nonetheless, he reassured that Nersa was not entirely rudderless: "What is important is that we know where we are," said Bukula. "We have a very good idea of what the price should be in five years and it's a question of plotting the trajectory of where we are and where we have to go to in five years."
"The principal of phasing-in is a principal that the regulator has always applied, and one that we will continue to apply," he added.
Also apparent through the hearings was the overwhelming perception that there were "policy gaps, or policy vacuums that need to be filled" - particularly around pricing.
However, he said that the proposed policy changes that were discussed in Cabinet some four weeks ago did align with the route that Nersa had already taken, of having a price determination over a given period that would help to smooth increases and avoid any price shocks.
Bukula did not subscribe to the view that the people presenting at the hearings had strayed from the subject of the hearings. "Overall, I don't think that there is any misalignment between what the people have presented and the regulatory regime."
Bukula said that, given the interest shown, Nersa would call a press conference to announce its price increase decision on June 18.
The regulator had originally planned to announce the verdict on June 6, but, given the overwhelming interest, had been forced to extend its schedule.
Eskom has applied for a 60% tariff increase this year after it had been hit by surging coal and diesel costs.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
Other Regulation News
Article contains comments
This eight-page brief is a synopsis of key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s constrained power system; State-owned power utility Eskom’s financial status and tariffs, capacity expansion programme,...
Updated 19 minutes ago Amid looming water shortages in the Cederberg and Matzikama local municipalities as a result of the low level of the Clanwilliam dam, the Western Cape government is closely monitoring the impact of unusually dry seasonal weather in some regions across the province....
Updated 32 minutes ago Downscaling by South African primary steel producers was “unavoidable” despite recent protection measures, outgoing Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) president Ufikile Khumalo cautioned on Friday. Khumalo is also chairperson of...
Updated 36 minutes ago The 5.8 MW Adams and 5.8 MW Bellatrix solar projects, in the Western Cape, have been selected under the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), becoming the first projects under the programme to be...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
International heavy-equipment engine manufacturer Cummins’ regional distribution centre (RDC) in Woodmead, Gauteng, has halved the average logistics distribution time for clients in Southern Africa and allowed for critical or long-lead stock to be kept closer to...