“NERSA’s failure to hold public hearings is illegal”

Business News

Tebogo Msimanga |

The  Democratic Alliance (DA) says the decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to not hold public hearings on the proposed municipal electricity tariff increase is at odds with the provisions of the NERSA Act and therefore illegal.

DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Kevin Mileham said the DA will be writing to NERSA requesting that they honour their obligations in terms of the NERSA Act, and allow South Africans to share their views on the proposed municipal tariff increase. “Should NERSA fail to honour this request, any action taken to implement this tariff increase will be illegal and open to legal contestation.”

Mileham said that based on a discussion document that it recently published, NERSA is proposing an average increase of 7,47% in municipal electricity tariffs from 1 July 2022.  The NERSA advisory goes on to state that, due to time pressure, there will be no public hearings on the matter.

“In making this decision, NERSA has violated section 10(1) (d) of the NERSA Act which states that:

10 (1) Every decision of the Energy Regulator must be in writing and be –(d) taken within a procedurally fair process in which affected persons have the opportunity to submit their views and present relevant facts and evidence to the Energy Regulator.”

Mileham reiterated that consumers should not be punished for NERSA’s inability to get its house in order on the electricity price methodology. “The DA will fight against any attempt to impose an above-inflationary electricity increase on consumers without public participation.”

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