Nomfundo Masita the acting electricity regulator board member at Nersa was chairing the public hearings on the City of Tshwane's application for a 13.07 percent tariff increase. Picture: Brenda Masilela/ANA

Pretoria - The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has sent the City of Tshwane back to the drawing board and gave them a week to submit a proper proposal for tariff hikes, saying their application is incomplete and does not explain why they want to charge consumers more.

"What we have in front of us now is not what the policy requires of you, there is no explanation as to what led to the restructuring and the reason behind the increase. We give you an opportunity to come back to us in writing," said Nomfundo Maseti, acting electricity regulator board member at Nersa.

Nersa held its public hearings on the municipality’s application for a tariff increase of 13.07% and its restructuring of tariffs on Thursday in Pretoria.

The hearings come after AfriForum hauled the municipality to court in a bid to reverse its increased tariffs, saying the hike was done without Nersa's approval.

The court matter was postponed indefinitely after AfriForum and the municipality agreed to engage in talks concerning the hike.

On Thursday, during preparations, representatives from the City of Tshwane said that Nersa delayed to grant them guidelines on increasing the tariff after they had submitted their application.

Masita said even if they might have slightly delayed, the municipality's application does not contain relevant information in the electricity pricing policy.

"The policy is very clear that if you are going to make significant tariff structures, it's quite important that such changes that you propose, must be accompanied by the cost of supply.

"We must have an appreciation, what cost the municipality has incurred for it to make these profound changes in its tariff structures and that's what's missing," Masita said.

The municipality halted its tariff hike until the 15th of July following AfriForum's court bid calling the hikes illegal.

Masita said the deadline won't be considered as the municipality failed to provide all the necessary documents.

"That was their deadline, but from our side, we need to do thorough analysis and we need to take a decision once we have all the information before us."

The hearings continue.

African News Agency (ANA)