Agriculture will not survive 20.5% Eskom increase!

“It is unacceptable that Eskom’s losses caused by corruption are recovered from paying customers,” said Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA). The organization’s response follows ESKOM’s request to NERSA to increase electricity costs by 20.5% from 1 April 2022.

Wilken referred to the losses of, among others, the Medupi and Kusile power stations, coal contracts, as well as the R37 billion that municipalities owe. “ESKOM is pushing to ensure that electricity prices can be implemented by 1 April 2022. They therefore want to submit the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA) approved tariff to Parliament before 15 March 2022.”

Dr Jack Armour, Commercial Manager of FSA, points out that ESKOM’s application to NERSA contains three separate documents applying for price increases in power generation, transmission and distribution. “The unbundling that President Ramaphosa referred to in the SONA is therefore continuing.”

Armour believes that the competition for Eskom for generation will still be tough, despite the R131 billion injection that was promised to South Africa during COP-26 to help bring about a transition to green power. “The public cannot be responsible for funding ESKOM to expand its own alternative power generation capacities in competition with the private sector.”

Free State Agriculture makes annual submissions to NERSA to oppose ESKOM’s proposals for drastic price increases. NERSA annually requests FSA to provide econometric and macro-economic analyses on the price elasticity of agricultural commodities’ input costs against power price increases, as well as the threshold price of ESKOM at which farmers will switch to alternative energy options. “However, there are analyses that depend on many factors at play in agricultural production and FSA has pointed out to NERSA that they will have to fund such a studies themselves,” says Armour.

Free State Agriculture will make a written submission to NERSA by the deadline of 14 January 2022. The organisation will also make an official submission to NERSA during the public hearings to oppose the meaningless proposals.

“Agriculture will not survive the ESKOM increases, if approved, along with all the other rising input costs!” Wilken believes.

Landbou sal nie 20.5% Eskom verhoging oorleef nie!

“Dit is onaanvaarbaar dat verliese deur Eskom wat weens korrupsie veroorsaak is, van betalende kliënte verhaal word”, sê Francois Wilken, President van Vrystaat Landbou (VL). Die organisasie se reaksie volg op ESKOM se versoek aan NERSA om elektrisiteitskostes vanaf 1 April 2022 met 20.5% te verhoog.

Wilken het verwys na die verliese van onder andere die Medupi- en Kusile-kragstasies, steenkoolkontrakte, asook die R37 miljard wat munisipaliteite skuld. “ESKOM druk om te verseker dat elektrisiteitspryse teen 1 April 2022 implementeerbaar is. Hulle wil dus die Nasionale Energiereguleerder van Suid-Afrika (NERSA) se goedgekeurde tarief voor 15 Maart 2022 in die Parlement voorlê.”

Dr Jack Armour, kommersiële bestuurder van VL, wys uit dat ESKOM se aansoek aan NERSA drie afsonderlike dokumente bevat vir prysverhogings in kragopwekking, transmissie en distribusie. “Die ontbondeling waarna president Ramaposa in die SONA verwys het, gaan dus voort.”

Armour meen verder dat die kompetisie vir Eskom vir opwekking steeds te straf gaan wees, ten spyte van die R131 miljard inspuiting wat tydens COP-26 aan Suid-Afrika beloof is om oorgang na groenkrag te help bewerkstellig. “Die publiek kan nie verantwoordelik wees om ESKOM te befonds om teen die privaatsektor sy eie alternatiewe kragopwekkings kapasiteite uit te brei nie.”

Vrystaat Landbou maak jaarliks voorleggings aan NERSA om ESKOM se voorstelle vir drastiese prysverhogings teen te staan. NERSA rig jaarliks ’n versoek aan VL om ekonometriese en makro-ekonomiese analises oor die pryselastisiteit van landbou kommoditeite se insetkoste  teenoor kragprysverhogings, asook die drumpelprys van ESKOM waarteen boere sal oorskakel na alternatiewe energieopsies, te voorsien. “Daar is egter analises wat afhanklik is van baie faktore ter spel op landbouproduksie en VL wys elke jaar aan NERSA uit dat hulle self so studie sal moet befonds.”, sê Armour.

Vrystaat Landbou sal ʼn geskrewe inset aan NERSA rig teen die sperdatum van 14 Januarie 2022. Die organisasie sal ook ʼn amptelike voorlegging aan NERSA maak tydens die publieke verhore om die sinnelose voorstelle teen te staan.

“Landbou sal die ESKOM-verhogings, indien goedgekeur, saam met al die ander stygende insetkoste, nie oorleef nie!”, meen Wilken.