Matthew Chaskalson SC, for Eskom, argued in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday in the power provider’s urgent application asking that this court set aside the National Energy Regulator’s (Nersa) decision to withdraw R69 billion in state aid from Eskom’s revenue for the current three-year deduct period.
According to the Nersa decision, Eskom should increase its power tariffs by 8.1% and 5.22% respectively over the next two years.
Eskom’s application is one of three court cases over the R69 billion lifebuoys the government gave Eskom last February.
Nersa deducted this amount from Eskom’s allowed income and thus, according to Eskom, canceled the rescue buoys.
If Eskom does not get the increases it needs, it will collapse financially, Chaskalson told Judge Jody Kollapen.
“Should this happen, the president and the finance minister will be on a plane to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ask for help.
“This could have serious consequences for the country,” Chaskalson argued.
“It is not only the consumers who will suffer but also the country’s credit rating.
“There are people who maintain that Eskom’s problems have to do with state capture and corruption, but the World Bank has already made it clear that Eskom’s big problem is its rates that have been too low for a long time.”