Johannesburg – The first public hearing by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) into Eskom’s application for a 17-percent electricity tariff increase will be held in Cape Town on Monday.

The power utility has applied for the increase to recoup R22.8 billion, according to the application submitted to Nersa.

Eskom said making sufficient revenue will allow it to generate power more efficiently and effectively.

“Investors are seeking certainty and stability from the regulatory process. Eskom has recently been downgraded by rating agencies and they note inadequate tariff increases as part of the reason for the downgrade,” Eskom said in a statement.

“Sufficient revenue allows Eskom to continue with the generation performance improvement programme to the benefit of all customers. A financially sustainable Eskom will support our country’s broader economic objectives.”

If Eskom’s application is successful, the country could see a tariff increase of 17 percent from 1 April 2016, as opposed to the current increase set at 8 percent.

Public hearing sessions are also scheduled for Port Elizabeth (January 20), Durban (January 21 and 22), Mmabatho (January 25), Kimberley (January 27), Bloemfontein (January 28), Nelspruit (February 1) and Polokwane (February 3).

The hearings will come to a close in Midrand on February 5.