Here are just five (of many) reasons why OUTA says NERSA has displayed a cavalier attitude towards statutory compliance and public concerns throughout its decision-making process.

NERSA’s decision-making was procedurally unfair, premature, and lacking in transparency, with significant portions of the licence applications redacted. Why? 

The law requires that NERSA acts in the best interests of the country, with decisions “based on reason, facts and evidence” (as per the Electricity Regulation Act). NERSA appeared to prioritise the interests of the Karpowership IPPs over that of our country. We find it very concerning that NERSA – who uses taxpayers’ money - even expressed concern about the financial affairs of a private Turkish majority-owned company, thereby creating the distinct impression that the financial well-being of Karpowership should enjoy preference above that of the South African public.

NERSA granted the generation licences for the Karpowership IPPs prematurely, without the relevant facts before it, and conducted the public participation process without providing the public with the necessary facts on which to comment, including pricing aspects and the cost over the next 20 years. 

In its reasons for the decisions, NERSA failed to provide a meaningful response to the public concerns and objections, effectively undermining the public participation process. They merely brushed OUTA’s concerns aside. We made a formal submission to NERSA in August 2021 to object to this deal, but many of our objections were not addressed and still stand. 

At the time when the applications for generation licences by the Karpowership IPPs were considered by NERSA, the regulator did not take into account that the Karpowership IPPs failed to meet certain legal and regulatory requirements, including NERSA’s own prescribed requirements for generation licence applications to be considered. These include failure to obtain environmental authorisations, port authorisations, water licences, emissions licences, waste management licences, various gas infrastructure construction, operating and trading licences, fuel supply agreements and power purchase agreements.

More reasons for our legal challenge, as well as affidavits and supporting documents, can be found here

Also listen to our podcast in which OUTA's Brendan Slade (Karpowership project manager) and adv. Stefanie Fick explains OUTA’s opposition to the deal in more detail.