May 15, 2020 / 6:10 PM / 12 days ago

South African energy regulator allows Eskom to claw back $718 mln in tariffs

JOHANNESBURG, May 15 (Reuters) - South African energy regulator Nersa said on Friday it will allow utility Eskom to recover 13.3 billion rand ($718 million) from customers for electricity supplied in the 2018/19 financial year, lower than what the state-owned power utility had applied for.

Nersa said in a statement it will give its reasons for the decision once certain requirements have been finalised and will draw up an implementation plan for recovering the tariffs within a reasonable period of time.

Cash-strapped Eskom applied in August 2019 to Nersa to claw back 27.3 billion rand from electricity customers through power tariffs, saying it needed to cover costs incurred for the financial year 2018/19.

Eskom was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

Eskom supplies more than 90% of South Africa’s electricity but is struggling with high debts and faulty power stations which prompted it to impose several rounds of severe power cuts last year, hurting the country’s economy.

Eskom is dependent on government bailouts to stay solvent and the perilous state of its finances is one of the biggest risks to South Africa maintaining its investment-grade credit rating.

$1 = 18.5241 rand Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Susan Fenton

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