Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe made a desperate plea for higher Eskom tariffs over the next three years on Monday, as well as for more money from the government, while apologising to SA for the mess the utility is in. Hadebe was speaking in Cape Town at public hearings held by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to interrogate Eskom’s application for a 15% tariff increase beginning in 2019-2020. The application needs to meet Nersa’s approval before it can be applied to customers. Eskom is in a dire financial situation, with a R419bn debt it is unable to service from the revenue it earns. It costs more for it to generate electricity than it recoups from tariffs due to a high cost base, which Nersa believes should not be made the burden of the South African public. “I am the first to acknowledge that Eskom has contributed to its own problems. Eskom is compelled to apologise to SA for having brought these challenges. They could have been avoided. But they have built over time and t...

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