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[Black inefficiency just keeps getting worse. Jan]
Pretoria – The decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to increase electricity tariffs by 18.65% has been met by stinging criticism from political parties.
The opposition political parties have described the double digit increase as daylight robbery, unjust and unaffordable.
The increase is expected to come into effect on April 1, 2023.
The announcement was made by Nersa on Thursday. Eskom had applied for a 32% tariff increase.
ActionSA leader, Herman Mashaba, said South Africans were already battling high inflation, declining public services and escalating food prices, and would now face an exorbitant 18.6% electricity increase.
South African power cuts worsen
“While our people are resilient and can withstand great adversity, it is difficult to remain optimistic when it is patently evident that the ANC government has no plan to end our energy crisis.
“A feasible solution has to be pursued, because the ratepayer cannot continue to pay for historical and persistent mismanagement of our power utility,” Mashaba said.
DA leader John Steenhuisen described the increase as official daylight robbery.
He said the party would explore the option of mass action against the “incapable’’ ANC-led government.
“Instead of acknowledging that overburdened consumers are currently carrying the dead weight of a collapsing Eskom monopoly, Nersa instead chose to protect itself from further litigation by Eskom and agreed to grant this exorbitant electricity price increase,” Steenhuisen said.
Meanwhile, Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis branded the price hike as unfair, unaffordable, and unjust.
‘’South Africans are being asked to pay for corruption and mismanagement at Eskom in the most unfair, unaffordable and unjust way. Eskom has alternative ways to raise funds: by reducing their bloated payroll, by cutting suppliers who are over-charging especially for sub-standard coal, and by ending corruption, including recovering state captured loot.
“In Cape Town, we are working flat out to end our Eskom reliance, diversify energy supply to more affordable power sources, and end load shedding over time,’’ the mayor said.
Nersa chief executive officer, advocate Nomalanga Sithole, said the decision wasn’t taken lightly and had been checked thoroughly against legal and rational principles.
“The decision has been taken against the backdrop of difficult economic situations, such as poor economic growth, declining household income, unemployment and the implementation of load shedding among other economic challenges,” Sithole said.
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