When South Africans do have electricity, they will be expected to fork out a lot more to make use of it in the future.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has granted ailing state-owned power utility Eskom’s tariff increase of a 31.4% electricity tariff hike over the next two years.
The increase is six times higher than the rate of inflation.
The Democratic Alliance said it would challenge the electricity tariff increase in court.
It said the electricity crisis was wreaking havoc on the economy, with stage 6 load shedding alone costing R900 million daily.
In a statement, the opposition party said: “We seek the appointment of a Special Master to oversee, regulate, monitor, and report to the Court on the government’s progress in implementing the Energy Action Plan that is supposed to deal with the crisis and related issues. This independent Special Master must have the necessary expertise to evaluate the situation, monitor and report accurately, enabling South Africans to know what is going on, and what they can expect, and plan accordingly.
“The second, and more important part of our application, is to require NERSA to re-evaluate the tariff increase, and ensure that public participation is undertaken to provide crucial data on the impact of the proposed tariff increase. The DA’s court papers argue that NERSA misinterpreted Section 15 (1) (e) of the Electricity Regulation Act, and did not take public participation into account at when the Multi-Year Price Determination was undertaken. We therefore seek to have the MYPD decision declared invalid, and suspended, giving NERSA six months to remedy the situation.”
Apart from the country’s worst energy crisis in history, consumers are facing an uphill battle, having to contend with high interest rates, fuel price increases and inflation.