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National energy regulator in the country resolves to oppose high court application brought by state power utility Eskom

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The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirmed last week that it had resolved to oppose the high court application brought by Eskom Holdings against it.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirmed last week that it had resolved to oppose the high court application brought by Eskom Holdings against it. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirmed last week that it had resolved to oppose the high court application brought by Eskom Holdings against it.

Eskom is seeking relief that the court should order Nersa to consider Eskom’s Fifth Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD5) revenue application for the 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 financial years and for the court to set the timelines for the processing of the MYPD5 revenue application.

Eskom is also seeking a judicial review to set aside the decision of the energy regulator, taken on September 30, to reject Eskom’s MYPD5 revenue application.

“In arriving at the decision to oppose the application, Nersa considered the factual matrix, applicable regulatory and legal principles involved and whether we have a defendable case against the allegations,” it said.

Nersa said it had further considered the impact of Eskom court application on the future exercise of regulatory powers on tariff determination and the ability to achieve the objectives of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006.

This concerns Eskom as adapting to the new application process might take longer, jeopardising its financial status through delays.

Eskom said last month that Nersa’s rejection of its MYPD5 application created a regulatory vacuum for the electricity supply industry in South Africa and that, even if the new methodology was developed in time, Eskom would not be able to make a new price application for implementation by April 1, 2022, until full statutory compliance, due process and legislative consultation had been fulfilled.

Eskom wants to press for a determination on the 2022 application process for continuity, while it normally applies for a three to five-year determination to cut the red tape while applying for the longer-term decision.

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