FSA supports NERSA opposing ESKOM RCL Decision

Free State Agriculture (FSA) fully supports the national energy regulating body of SA, NERSA’s media statement of 10 May calling all interested stakeholders to join them in opposing the courts review application. We consider that the Court decision in ESKOM’s favour to increase prices way above inflation will definitely affect the agricultural sector negatively with repercussions through increased food prices and job losses.

FSA has made representation to NERSA at all of the public hearings held in the Free State as to ESKOM’s application for tariff increases. Each time FSA has emphasised the following facts:

  1. The fixed cost component of accounts are unaffordable for farmers, particularly small and family farmers which make up the majority of our membership, and should be exempted from the increases
  2. That the consumer not have to bear the brunt for ESKOM’s bad planning decisions; expecting higher energy sales while increasing load-shedding and forcing consumers to install own energy solutions, back-up power and energy savings technology. All this forcing ESKOM into a downward utility spiral!
  3. That the agricultural sector as price takers, not only faces higher than inflation price increases from ESKOM, but also in labour costs through the national minimum wage, increasing fuel costs through fuel taxes, etc. and all this making certain production energy (and labour) intensive enterprises unviable leading to job cuts from the sector and food price inflation in the longer run.
  4. That the blatant corruption that took place at ESKOM should not be reclaimed and paid for by the consumers.

FSA thus welcomes NERSA’s strong stance in resolving to oppose the High Court application brought by Eskom Holdings SOC Limited (Eskom) against NERSA to review and set aside the Energy Regulator’s decision pertaining to the approval of a Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) balance of R13.271 billion for the 2018/19 financial year, and the Energy Regulator’s decision to grant Eskom’s supplementary revenue balance of R1.288 billion in respect of the 2018/19 financial year.

VL ondersteun Nersa in opponering van Eskom-hofaansoek

Vrystaat Landbou (VL) het in ‘n verklaring gesê dat hulle die nasionale energiereguleerder, Nersa, se mediaverklaring van 10 Mei 2021 ten volle ondersteun. In die verklaring versoek Nersa dat alle belanghebbendes hulle steun om die hof se hersiende aansoek teen te staan. “Ons is van mening dat die hofbeslissing in die guns van Eskom, om pryse hoër as inflasie te verhoog, die landbousektor beslis negatief sal beïnvloed met verhoogde voedselpryse en werksverliese as die gevolg.” het Francois Wilken, president van VL, gesê.

VL het vroeër voorleggings aan Nersa gemaak tydens al die openbare verhore wat in die Vrystaat gehou is, oor die aansoek van Eskom om tariefverhogings. Die organisasie het telkens die volgende feite beklemtoon:

  1. Die vaste kostekomponent van rekeninge is onbekostigbaar vir boere, veral kleinboere en familieboere, wat die grootste deel van VL lede uitmaak, en moet vrygestel word van die verhogings.
  2. Dat die verbruiker nie die swaarste hoef te dra vir Eskom se slegte beplanningsbesluite nie; hoër energieverkope te verwag terwyl die beurtkrag verhoog en verbruikers forseer word om eie energie-oplossings, rugsteunkrag en energiebesparingstegnologie te installeer.
  3. Dat die landbousektor as prysnemers nie net hoër as inflasieprysstygings van Eskom  in die gesig staar nie, maar ook die verhoogde arbeidskoste weens die nasionale minimum loon, die verhoging van brandstofkoste deur brandstofbelasting, ens., Dit alles maak sekere produksies energie (en arbeids) intensiewe ondernemings wat nie lewensvatbaar is nie en kan op die langtermyn tot werkverminderings in die sektor lei asook voedselprysinflasie.
  4. Dat die blatante korrupsie wat by Eskom plaasgevind het, nie deur die verbruikers herwin en betaal moet word nie.

“Vrystaat Landbou verwelkom dus Nersa se ferm benadering in die besluit om die hofaansoek wat deur Eskom teen Nersa geloods is, op hersiening te neem en die energie reguleerder se besluit ten opsigte van die goedkeuring van ‘n regulatoriese terugwerkende aansuiweringsaansoek (RCA) balans van R13.271 miljard vir die 2018/2019 finansiële jaar asook die bykomende besluit om Eskom se aanvullende inkomste balans van R1.288 miljard ten opsigte van die 2018/2019 finansiële jaar toe te staan, tersyde te stel.” sê Wilken.