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Eskom 20% Increase with a 100% chance of Loadshedding

Eskom 20% Increase with a 100% chance of Loadshedding

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.

Economist Duma Gqubule told SowetanLIVE on Wednesday that the increase would bring misery and suffering to households already struggling with the negative effects of Covid-19 lockdowns.

“The increase will add to the misery of South Africans in this once-in-a-century crisis. The electricity prices are rising in the middle of a lockdown and it is going to make things worse for many people. The country is going to fail to address unemployment, poverty and inequality.”

According to Gqubule, the South African Reserve Bank should come to the party by decreasing interest rates with an aim to give more financial relief to workers, some of whom didn’t get salary increases due to the lockdown.

“The worst thing the Reserve Bank could do at this point is to increase interest rates. Interest rates are still high in this country and anything that could alleviate the economic situation [would be welcomed].”

Gqubule added that the government has still not announced relief measures to counter the devastating impact of the current lockdown. He said the electricity tariffs increase was unsustainable for the economy and decimating businesses and jobs.

“We need a balance between debt price increase and government finance for Eskom. Government needs to directly finance Eskom to reduce the impact on the prices because electricity tarrifs have increase by up to five times over the past 12 years and this is unsustainable from a consumer, job creation and manufacturing point of view,” he said.

“Most people didn’t get salary increases and now they must pay this 17.8% electricity tariffs increase. It is unfair.”


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Tame Communications (known as tameTIMES) was established in 1997. This long-established popular community title includes the key shopping centres:  Alberton City, Mall...

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