AfriForum's head of local government affairs Morne Mostert speaks to the media after the organisation agreed to hold talks with City of Tshwane on the electricity tariff hike. Picture: Brenda Masilela/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - The matter between the City of Tshwane and civil rights organisation, AfriForum, was postponed indefinitely after both parties agreed to enter into a discussion about the electricity tariff hike.

This comes after AfriForum launched an urgent application against the city in the North Gauteng High Court in a bid to reverse its increased tariffs that came into effect on 1 July.

According to the civil rights organisation, the city contravened Schedule 14 of the Electricity Regulatory Act, which states that the municipality may not implement an increased electricity tariff without National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approval. 

The organisation wanted the court to order Nersa to intervene by investigating the legality of the tariffs.

AfriForum's head of local government affairs Morne Mostert said this was the first time they were having discussions with the city after several attempts.

"AfriForum is not backing down in anyway, the important thing to note is that we are still in discussions and are going to take a hard stance that unlawful tariffs cannot be implemented," Mostert said. 

He said the starting point of the conversation would include the pockets of poor people and how to make sure they were not affected. He also said they would focus on the tariff structure and how it could be implemented.

Mostert said they plan to reach an agreement with the city that all users who had already been affected by the tariff, to be refunded.

African News Agency (ANA)