Outa to challenge Karpowership generation licences in court

24th May 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer


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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is gearing up for a court application to compel the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to provide it with the full, unredacted record of Nersa’s decision to approve generation licences to Karpowership.

This application is set down to be heard from June 4 to 6.

Outa says Karpowership has withdrawn its opposition to both the application to compel production of the record and the main application calling for a review of Nersa’s licence decision. However, Outa says Nersa continues to oppose both.

Outa in April 2022 filed an application for the review and setting aside of the decisions by Nersa to grant the three Karpowership independent power producer (IPP) generation licences. The organisation says this application was opposed by Nersa and Karpowership.

Outa in its main application – the review application – called for Nersa to provide, within 15 days, copies of all documents relating to the decisions to grant Karpowership the generation licences, together with the reasons for the decisions.

“The National Energy Regulator Act requires that every decision by Nersa be ‘in the public interest’ and ‘based on reason, facts and evidence’. This Act also provides for the judicial review of Nersa decisions in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act,” says Outa accountability division executive director Stefanie Fick.

Despite Outa’s quest for transparency, the organisation says Nersa provided only a redacted record. Outa says it was, therefore, obliged to compel Nersa to produce the full and unredacted record of its decisions to approve generation licences to Karpowership.

Outa’s application to compel was launched on January 23, 2023.

After various efforts by Nersa and Karpowership to delay the compel proceedings, Outa says the Pretoria High Court in December 2023 issued a directive setting down Outa's application to compel for June 4 to 6.

Outa filed heads of argument on January 31, and Nersa filed heads of argument on February 28.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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