JOHANNESBURG, The National Energy Regulator Energy of South Africa (NERSA) has granted State-owned poer utility Eskom a 5.2 per cent tariff increase for the 2018/19 financial year. Eskom had applied for a 19.9 per cent increase.
NERSA conducted hearings across the country last month to find out whether the cash-strapped power utility should be granted the tariff hike. Regulator Mbulelo Ncetezo said here Friday that the decision on the tariff increase took into consideration the needs of consumers.
We believe that this is a fair decision both on the Eskom side and on the customer’s side. We took into consideration affordability issues and also sustainability issues on the part of Eskom. From now, we will do the municipalities. This was an Eskom process. From this one, we will go to the municipality process where we will now have to come to what the municipalities will increase their tariffs by, seeing that Eskom is going to increase (its tariff) by 5.23 per cent.
Meanwhile, The Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says the 5.2 per cent tariff increase is a bittersweet victory for civil society. Outa says NERSA should have granted Eskom a zero-per cent increase since consumers are already paying more for electricity.
We got to review what they said. Because sometimes there is a lot in the bitter. We will review the judgment in terms of what was approved and then will respond accordingly. It should have been zero because over the period of two or three years over zero per cent would gotten to the point where at least it becomes market related , said Outa chief executive Ben Theron.
Theron said Eskom hasdbeen overcharging consumers in the last few years.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK