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MEDIA STATEMENT : Government values the swift process by the National Energy Regulator

Government values the swift process by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) in reviewing the selective reopener for the third multi-year price determination for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 March 2016 that was submitted by Eskom.

As a selective reopener application, it was specifically to fund only the higher usages of the Open Cycle Gas Turbines and cover the cost of buying capacity from the short-term power purchase programme. Eskom is in the process of preparing for its full application to Nersa with regard to the Third Multi-Year Electricity Price Determination which will be submitted before the end of July 2015.

By ensuring that the requirements which are needed for our energy sector are promptly addressed it allows us to stabilise our electricity network and move South Africa forward.

Government appreciates the work of NERSA which is a product of our democratic dispensation. It ensures that there are checks and balances within the country’s energy sector.

It is mandated as the country’s independent single regulator and created under National Energy Regulator Act to protect the both interest of energy producers and consumers.

This is part of our commitment as an open, transparent and democratic society that we had envisioned at the start of democracy. It keeps South Africans informed and allows them to play an active role in the direction of the country.

Regulators and governance institutions established since 1994 ensure management of key sectors to meet the country’s needs and citizens have a say on matters that affect them.

In May 2015 NERSA had begun to process the Eskom application. This included a period of written comments from stakeholders which ended on 15 June 2015 and public hearings that were held on 23 and 24 June 2015.

NERSA afforded everyone, stakeholders and members of the public alike with an opportunity to participate in the public hearings. These were open meetings between officials and citizens, during which citizens offered their comments and views on application.

These interactions reflects the power of our democracy at work as more than 250 submissions had been made by members of the public and civil society organisations.

In keeping with our democratic principles, the views and interests of all stakeholders are incorporated into NERSA’s decisions. In assessing the Eskom application, NERSA would also consider all other possible funding options such as raising additional debt.

The Eskom application has been extensively discussed by the War-room on Energy and is one of a number of options that are being considered to ensure the continued supply of electricity and address Eskom’s financial stability.

Government appreciates the speedy conclusion of the process and thanks all South Africans for their input. As a people-led Government, we care about what citizens think and feel about the policies and programmes that we have put in place to address priorities as mandated by South Africans. We need to work together to move South Africa forward.

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