Consumers to cough up more to keep lights on next year

Consumers can brace themselves for higher electricity prices expected to hit their pockets.

Consumers can brace themselves for higher electricity prices expected to hit their pockets.

Published Dec 20, 2023


Consumers can brace themselves for higher electricity prices expected to hit their pockets in April next year, as the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) has given the nod to a 12.74% electricity tariff hike for Eskom.

At its meeting held on December 14, Nersa approved Eskom’s average tariff increases for the 2024/25 financial year.

Nersa approved 12.74% for Eskom users and 12.72% for municipalities effective April 1, 2024 and July 1, 2024 respectively.

“Eskom submitted its Eskom Retail Tariff and Structural Adjustment (ERTSA) application for the 2024/25 financial year and the schedule of standard tariffs for approval on 10 October 2023. The 2024/25 schedule of tariffs is for implementation on 1 April 2024 for non-local authority customers and 1 July 2024 for local authority (municipalities) customers,” Nersa said.

This comes as the regulator last month welcomed a Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, judgment dismissing a legal challenge against the revenue determination and tariff approval of Eskom’s fifth Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD5).

The high court dismissed the judicial review applications on Nersa’s revenue determination and tariff approval of Eskom’s MYPD5 application for the 2023/24 and 2024/5 financial years.

The energy regulator also approved the Electricity Pricing Rule, a five-step rate-setting process that would end the existing Eskom Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) – Cost of Supply (COS)–ERTSA process that determines electricity industry tariffs and prices.

“The Electricity Pricing Rule envisages that individual customers, or groups of customers, upon application and after providing credible evidence, may request prices that best represent the costs that their consumption imposes on the licensee’s business, as prescribed by section15(1)(c) of the Electricity Regulation Act and emphasised in the Electricity Pricing Policy objectives that there is a ‘link between the price a user must pay to the cost of serving that user’.”

Stop COCT Sandra Dickson said, this year Nersa’s electricity tariff increases do not have the usual difference of 2.5% between Eskom and municipal increases.

“It is welcomed that Nersa stuck to the 12.7% tariff increase as was determined by Nersa two years ago. Though it still amounts to a more than 30% cumulative tariff increase for electricity for the past two years.

“It will be interesting to see what Nersa comes up with for the years beyond 2024 as the unbundling of Eskom is now taking shape which will now reflect three entities breaking tariffs into three portions instead of one single Eskom tariff.”

Cry of the Xcluded’s, Motsi Khokhoma said higher electricity prices were the last thing struggling South Africans needed.

“It is going to be very difficult. Everything is collapsing. In terms of electricity hikes, we rejected this at provincial level.

“We marched to Parliament to express our dissatisfaction with the high rising prices of everything. There are 30 million plus unemployed people in this country and companies are still going to reduce.

“We are really sitting on a ticking time bomb, where unemployed and poor people will rise up against any government that will come in power,” he said.

Cape Times