File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa) investigation into the City of Cape Town’s electricity tariffs has been welcomed by civic organisation Stop CoCT, which had lodged a formal complaint on the metro’s current charges structure.

Nersa spokesperson Charles Hlebela said the regulator had received numerous complaints over the tariffs and “is looking into the matter”.

Stop CoCT had laid a formal complaint with Nersa about the City’s electricity tariff structure and the changes made to it since 2016, the body’s Sandra Dickson said.

According to Dickson, the complaint was lodged by Stop CoCT on behalf of more than 13 200 members of the group.

“The City claims an 8.88% increase for the respective blocks, but the effect of the General Valuation (GV2018) property valuation is not reflected in this increase. The effective increase to a vast number of households is well over 8.88%,” Dickson said.

“People whose properties are now valued over R400 000 as a result of GV2018 not only lost their free units, but their tariff jumped from R1.10 to R1.99 overnight. This represents an increase of more than 80%,” she added.

“In the Home User category, the increase implemented is 15.4% higher than approved by Nersa. In the Life Line block, (the City) implemented 10.7% higher than what Nersa approved.”

Nersa confirmed that it had approved the tariff hike, which has seen consumers pay up to R1.8532 per kWh since the start of the month. City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said: ‘‘The City’s tariff increase is 8.8% vs Eskom’s more than 15%. 

"All money goes towards service provision and to assist indigent residents. The City’s increase has remained below that of Eskom’s consistently.’’