The Democratic Alliance on Thursday accused Eskom of trying to raise R22.8-billion by conning electricity users.
The opposition party said the power utility was trying “to obtain the tariff increases it was denied by NERSA in June this year” from consumers through the use of a regulatory clearing account (RCA).
In June‚ Eskom was not given the tariff hike it wanted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).
The party has appealed to NERSA “not to approve any further tariff increases until such time as Eskom can prove that its requests for additional funds are legitimate and are not simply being requested to cover for Eskom’s continued inefficiency”.
The party said: “Eskom claims it needs to recover these additional costs following its increased expenditure on diesel to power its diesel peaking plants in order to keep the lights on and avoid load-shedding.
“This is a dubious assertion at best as answers to parliamentary questions clearly indicate that South African energy demand is now below 2006 levels with an additional saving of 2000MW – 3000MW having being acheived during the course of 2015.
“Evidence suggests that it is this energy saving of 2000MW-3000MW and the decline in energy demand that is responsible for halting load shedding‚ not any specific action being taken by Eskom.
“Eskom’s claim for the need to recover additional funds from the consumer to cover costs incurred to prevent load shedding is therefore‚ dubious at best and completely misleading at worst.
“It is clear that Eskom’s story just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.”