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Johannesburg - Lobby group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has called on President Jacob Zuma to institute a full judicial commission into embattled power utility Eskom.

Outa energy director Ted Blom said the commission must be mandated to probe allegations of ongoing corruption at the parastatal.

“Eskom is a corrupt cesspool of ongoing crime The executive and board need to be cleansed.

"Eskom should be put under a proverbial lock and key until the commission of inquiry publishes its findings in order to ameliorate growing and continuous damages and losses,” Blom said.

He was speaking at the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) public hearing in Pretoria on Friday.

The hearing was organised by Nersa to allow Outa and other civil organisations to make representations after Eskom had applied to the regulator to keep some of the utility’s operating statistics a secret.

Blom blasted Eskom for its application to Nersa, saying it smacked of a lack of transparency.

Outa vehemently opposed the utility’s application not to abide by the Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) electricity price application, which will set electricity prices for next year.

Blom said Eskom’s application would serve to hide actual amounts of “Gupta coal” consumed by the utility, “thus promoting the consumption of coal that costs Eskom double the amount that it pays other suppliers”.

Blom said: “The public, Nersa and in fact the whole of South Africa are now being dealt a double blow by Eskom - firstly, by not receiving a full MYPD application for five years to promote price certainty and, secondly, because Eskom refuses to supply required information provided for in the MYPD rules.”

He charged that Eskom had in the past blind-sided Nersa into believing that it was operating efficiently and hence warranted tariff increases.

Saturday Star