Eskom to hide 'sensitive information'

The National Electricity Regulator of SA has given Eskom permission to have "commercially sensitive" information on its proposed 53percent tariff increase withheld from publication, Nersa said yesterday.

The National Electricity Regulator of SA has given Eskom permission to have "commercially sensitive" information on its proposed 53percent tariff increase withheld from publication, Nersa said yesterday.

"It is information that Eskom feels is commercially sensitive - just a paragraph here and there that needs to be taken out," said Nersa spokesman Charles Hlebela.

The entire tariff application was to have been posted on the Nersa website for public comment and subsequent hearings.

Instead the amended version will be posted on the Nersa website today, Hlebela said.

Eskom could not comment immediately on the reasons for the application, but the trade union Solidarity accused the power utility of a lack of transparency in making the confidentiality application.

Solidarity said last week it had applied in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 for the disclosure of the confidential report, but it was rejected after Eskom argued that the report would be published on the Nersa website.

"If the full report is not published tomorrow, we will ask for reasons before weighing further legal remedies," said Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans.

"Eskom's lack of transparency is clear from its request, but the public is entitled to the full motivation for the high increase," Kleynhans said.

An audit report, commissioned by Solidarity, of the application will be published in early May, Kleynhans said. - Sapa

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