South Africans who buy electricity from their local municipalities will from Thursday pay nearly 20% more for their electricity. This comes as South Africans already struggle to make ends meet with rising food prices, staggering unemployment, and the continued detrimental effects of the pandemic and consequent lockdown. Apart from this, Alberton residents have had to cope with continued power cuts and failing infrastructure while Ekurhuleni fails to improve conditions. Eskom has also been very clear on the continued load-shedding in the coming months.
In March 2021, Energy regulator Nersa sent Eskom correspondence approving the power company’s retail tariff and structural adjustment application and the schedule of tariffs for the period April 1 2021 until March 31, 2022.
In the correspondence addressed to Eskom’s chief executive Andre de Ruyter, Nersa said households that buy electricity from municipalities will see tariffs rising by 17.80%. Affected municipalities include amongst others Johannesburg, Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay, Polokwane, and Tshwane.
Nersa also said that the 17.80% increase was exclusive of value-added tax, as the amount is determined by the minister of finance. Customers who obtain electricity directly from Eskom have already seen a tariff increase of between 14.75% and 15.06% from April. The steep tariff hike will be a major blow to consumers, especially considering that the fuel price in July is predicted to rise by more than 20 cents a litre for petrol and more than 40 cents a litre for diesel. These increases will also affect the prices of food and other grocery items.