Eskom said it had not applied to Nersa for R1.8 billion to pay performance bonuses, as reported in a Sunday newspaper.

Johannesburg - State power utility Eskom said on Tuesday it had not applied to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for R1.8 billion to pay performance bonuses, as reported in a Sunday newspaper.

Citing court papers filed by Nersa, the City Press said Eskom wanted taxpayers to pay a further R1.8 billion for performance bonuses for its employees, despite the utility's failure to supply adequate electricity which had led to rolling blackouts.

In its response on Tuesday to the story, Eskom said the fourth multi-year price determination (MYPD4) application it had made to Nersa did not include any allocation for performance bonuses. 

"The application included a provision for an annual bonus for the three year period, which is equivalent to a 13th cheque which forms part of the Eskom basic conditions of service," the utility said.

"In keeping with a board decision reflecting the poor performance of the business, no performance bonuses have been paid to employees in the past two years."

Last October, cash-strapped Eskom said Nersa's decision earlier in 2019 to award it lower tariff increases than it had applied for had left it with a shortfall of approximately R102 billion and worsened its financial sustainability.

On Tuesday it said Nersa in its decision "incorrectly disallowed these contractual costs and hence they do not form part of the allowed revenue granted to Eskom".

African News Agency (ANA)