File picture: Cindy Waxa

JOHANNESBURG - Egypt is raising the price of electricity by an average of 26 percent as part of austerity measures designed to overhaul the country's economy. 

Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El Sisi has asked Egyptians to endure the necessary measures.

Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said on Tuesday that electricity charges for factories would rise by 41.8 percent and for households by 20.9 percent, with the new charges taking effect in July, Egypt’s Al Ahram daily reported.

Egypt earlier this month raised the price of piped drinking water by up to 45 percent.

Egypt is implementing an economic reform programme which has included slashing subsidies, imposing a value-added tax and a currency flotation. The measures are aimed at qualifying for a three-year $12bn bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund, which Egypt secured in 2016.

Millions of poor Egyptians,  as well as the country’s middle class, have been hit hard by the austerity measures.

- African News Agency (ANA)