South Africa 12.8.2017 03:03 pm

Outa: Eskom prefers operational costs kept secret to cover up inefficiency

Outa has argued this is basic operational management information Eskom prefers kept secret to conceal ineptitude.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has welcomed the decision by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) that Eskom must meet the Nersa information requirements.

Eskom has previously stated that it prefers to keep its operating costs a secret and applied to Nersa for permission to keep certain costs information secret.

Outa raised an objection to Eskom’s secrecy application and provided a detailed written and verbal submission to Nersa.

“We’re pleased that Nersa has instructed Eskom to provide the information and, as such, has acted in favour of the public,” says Ted Blom, Outa’s portfolio director of energy.

The detailed information related to extensive operating costs must now be provided to Nersa by 27 August, as part of Eskom’s tariff application for 2018/19.

READ MORE: Nersa turns down Eskom’s request to deviate from MYPD methodology

“We are furthermore concerned at the comment by Eskom’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe that ‘we have no choice but to adhere to the decision’,” says Wayne Duvenage, Outa’s chairperson.

Outa believes the information relates to basic operational management information that Eskom ought to have on an hourly, weekly, monthly and annual basis.

Outa, an organisation that was originally established to challenge the introduction of e-toll tariffs in Gauteng, contends that Eskom’s reluctance to keep the information under wraps for the past decade is born out of the fear that it will expose how “inefficiently ” the organisation has been managed.

It is also arguing that Eskom’s financial management ineptitude has resulted in “exorbitant” operating costs. Outa is also questioning how, in the face of this financial constraint, Eskom leadership “paid itself” massive bonuses.

“We believe that this added level of transparency will highlight Eskom’s transgressions that have been invisible in the past, such as the expensive Gupta coal contracts,” added Blom.

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