Outa to challenge power hike implementation in High Court

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) will seek an urgent interdict in the High Court in Pretoria next week to stop implementation of the 9.4% electricity price hike. On what legal grounds can they challenge the electricity tariff increase?

Nersa (National Energy Regulator) is compelled to write written reasons to the public before the implementation of the tariff hikes kicks in. And the reason for that is once the horse has bolted there is no stopping it.

Advocate Ivan Herselman, Legal Director, Outa

Millions of direct Eskom customers and then 278 municipalities selling off to further millions of customers (would be effected), as the administrative burden of restating these millions of people's accounts to reflect the difference between the old and new tariffs, should there be sufficient reason to review and set aside the decision, is just practically impossible.

Advocate Ivan Herselman, Legal Director, Outa

The decision can't be undone, so it is unfathomable they would want to implement the decision without first providing the public with the written reasons so we can interrogate the logic of how the 9.4% was arrived at.

Advocate Ivan Herselman, Legal Director, Outa

Nersa is citing confidential information as part of the reason why they cannot release information to the public as Outa is demanding.

This is a big concern for us because we believe only in highly, highly exceptional circumstances should Eskom be able to provide confidential information and have Nersa rely on that confidential information to arrive at their decision.

Advocate Ivan Herselman, Legal Director, Outa

Though Nersa's answering papers regarding information requested for the interdict has created a tight time crunch, Outa is hopeful the outcome of the interdict will put the brakes on the implementation of the power hikes by Eskom until such time as the information they are requesting is made public.

The Interdict will be heard in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday 31 March.

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