Projects related to gross corruption and wasteful expenditure within Eskom eg. High Tariff increases, the Nuclear Energy deal and other issues within the energy sector.
OUTA’s Energy Portfolio was established to address the following core focus areas, whereby we believe our work will improve the performance of Government, its respective departments and its state owned entities in the delivery of service to society:
Core Focus Areas:
To expose and address maladministration and corruption in Public Sector and Private Sectors involved in developing South Africa’s Energy Industry.
To challenge Eskom’s Electricity Price Increases, and thereby Efficiencies of Eskom, costs, etc, where this is deemed to be necessary and based on good research and facts.
To represent society / our supporters on Policy development (in Parliament & other functions) to ensure rationality and best outcomes to society, (e.g. IRP, Nuclear Deal, Gazettes etc).
To give input on Municipal Electricity Regulation.
Engage and provide input to Government / Parliament when requested to do so, within our mandate and capacity.
To further the aims and development of OUTA’s Energy Portfolio through:
Media Statements in response to developments of projects, cases and reaction to matters pertinent to factors impacting on civil society in the energy sector.
Participate in national conferences (Private and Public Sector), where Civil Society input is required.
Position Papers and opinion pieces where necessary
In this portfolio we have undertaken the following projects:
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy wants to build a new nuclear power station, and has asked the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) to approve its two-page proposal on this.
This isn't in South Africa's energy plan, but the department says it wants to start procurement now so that a new nuclear power station will come online after 2030.
OUTA opposes this.
NERSA has asked for public comment on this, and OUTA is submitting comment.
See our reasons for opposing this plan and endorse our comment to NERSA.
NATIONAL NUCLEAR REGULATOR
OUTA is calling for greater transparency in the appointment of the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) board. The new board was appointed in August 2020, but representatives for civil society, labour and business were omitted. When OUTA queried this, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (which oversees the state-owned NNR) said these would be appointed later in a process with limited public involvement. OUTA objects to this.
PREPAID ELECTRICITY REPORT
OUTA started investigating charges to domestic prepaid electricity users in April 2020. We focussed on customers in the City of Joburg area, due to the difference in tariffs in municipalities.
We received receipts from hundreds of residents, which have been invaluable in our investigation. We have stopped collecting receipts and are now focussing on writing our report.
Our report has been delayed. We now expect to publish it during 2021.
Watch this space.
Between December 2015 and January 2016 South Africa’s strategic oil reserves were sold to several companies in secret deals at great cost to the country and without consideration for emergency situations. During 2020, these transactions were challenged in court by the current management of the SOEs responsible for the oil. In August 2020, OUTA applied to intervene in the case, on behalf of the public. On 20 November 2020, the Western Cape High Court overturned the sale in 2015/16 of 10 million barrels of South Africa’s strategic oil reserves.
INTEGRATED RESOURCE PLAN 2019
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is the long-term plan about the energy mix and associated electricity generation capacity required to meet demand. The IRP entails predicting how much power South Africa will need and how this should be produced.
IS THIS THE START OF SOLAR TAX?
NERSA is requesting public comments on the Rules for Registration of Small-Scale Embedded Generation. After the submission it is envisaged that NERSA will convene the necessary public hearings where OUTA will represent the submitted concerns on your behalf.
0% TARIFF INCREASE
NERSA is considering how much the municipalities will be allowed to increase the price of electricity to their customers on 1 July 2020. The regulator’s proposal is for an increase of 6.24%. OUTA is opposing this.
Dr Ben Ngubane resigned from the Eskom board on 12 June 2017. He’s been a supporter of the Eskom board since December 2014 and chair since October 2015. He’s presided over Eskom’s attempt to take on the unaffordable nuclear build, and then the unforgettable debacle with Brian Molefe as Eskom boss, then as the sort-of maybe former chief executive with the secret and irregular R30m payoff and then as the chief executive the board finally agreed to unhire.
OUTA believes that a separation of control over the two arms of electricity generation and transmission will break Eskom’s stranglehold over the grid (transmission), thereby ensuring that open competition for energy generation at the lowest cost of production will reach the consumer, assuming political meddling is minimized which in itself may be a separate challenge. In short, this challenge is to reduce the costs of energy to the consumer.
OUTA believes that, as with so many of our state owned and Parastatal organisations, there are sufficient questionable practices a lack of accountability and transparency within ESKOM.