Minority rights movement AfriForum this week said it has requested the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to supply reasons for the approval of a 9,4% tariff increase for the 2019/2020 financial year earlier this month. This decision in reality comes down to a 13,8% increase because various amounts for regulatory clearing accounts are at the same time made available to Eskom.
Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Head of Local Government Affairs, says the tariff increase is nearly double the consumer price index.
“We would like to know how Nersa could approve such a high tariff increase, while Eskom squandered billions of rands due to misappropriation and corruption. This tariff increase causes paying consumers to consider alternative electricity generation methods to supply them in their electricity needs. The public participation process made it clear to Nersa that communities can no longer fund Eskom’s corrupt activities. With this tariff increase it seems however that Nersa isn’t taking the public seriously.”
In addition, Nersa must shortly announce the electricity tariff guidelines for municipalities, which means that municipalities, besides the 13,8%, can establish additional tariff increases.
“Municipal electricity consumers must stay informed of the percentage with which municipal tariffs are adjusted, because it needs to be in accordance with Nersa guidelines. We are concerned that Nersa is in essence allowing Eskom’s corrupt activities to be funded by the consumer year after year,” says Dr Eugene Brink, AfriForum’s Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs.