CAPE TOWN, January 14 – The National Energy Regulator of South Africa on Monday began public hearings on Eskom’s application to increase electricity tariffs annually by 15 percent for the next three years.
The hearings on the multi-year price determination (MYPD4) kicked off in Cape Town, with heated objection expected.
Among those opposing the tariff regime sought by Eskom is pressure group Outa (Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse). It has urged the regulator to allow no more than an inflation-related tariff increase.
“At best, we propose that NERSA should not allow Eskom to exceed CPI, which is around the five percent mark, but instead, Eskom should find savings by reducing the headcount and staff costs, along with returning to lower primary energy costs by undoing the inflated and often corrupt contracts entered into during the Jacob Zuma era,” Ronald Chauke, Outa’s spokesman on energy, said in a statement on Monday.
“The public should not have to pay the price for Eskom’s corruption and poor leadership.”
The sentiment was echoed by the Democratic Alliance. The party said the tariff hikes demanded by Eskom would have a dire impact on ordinary citizens.
“These increases will no doubt have devastating consequences on ordinary South Africans, considering the unaffordable cost of living under Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC, and the increased number of unemployed people in South Africa,” said the party’s spokeswoman on public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone.
She said it added insult to injury that there was a risk of load-shedding in coming months.
“South Africans are clearly being made to pay for the ANC’s inability to fix the power utility.” (ANA)