The National Energy Regulator’s (NERSA) announced on Thursday that it has given the green light to Eskom's application to hike electricity tariffs by an average of 3.5% above inflation for the next 3 years. 

From April 1, consumers can expect to pay 9.41% more for electricity. In 2020, the cost of electricity will increase by 8.1% and a further 5.22% in 2021.

The DA has condemned Nersa's decision, saying the massive increase will " eat into the already diminished incomes of the poor and lower income groups. Over a period of 10 years from 2007 to 2017, Eskom’s electricity prices have increased by about 356%, whilst inflation over the same period was 74%."

The party says the increases will "have a detrimental impact on small businesses, manufacturers and intensive electricity users, placing a handbrake on economic growth and job creation".

The DA believes that Eskom should focus its resources on debt collection from municipalities that owe them money, rather than spending their funds on court cases, which aim to increase electricity tariffs for those who are already paying and meeting their bills," said the party's Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone .

Mazzone said that "consumers of electricity should not be forced to foot the burden for poor project management and build quality at the Kusile and Medupi power plants, for years of corruption at Eskom and a bloated workforce".

"Government should allow metropolitan municipalities with a proven history of good financial governance and electricity reticulation management to trade with electricity generators directly, allowing them to buy electricity straight from the source."

IOL