Power hike of 7% for now

2013-09-05 00:00

WHETHER the Msunduzi Municipality increases its electricity tariff hikess from the stipulated seven percent to 10% depends on the outcome of its appeal to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Nersa had turned down its original request for the 10% hike.

The energy regulator’s spokesperson, Charles Hlebela, confirmed that the appeal had been made and was under consideration by Nersa.

He could not confirm at this stage when a final decision would be made on whether Msunduzi will have a seven or 10% electricity tariff increase.

After the new budget came into effect on July 1, 2013, the municipality put tariffs up by 10%, despite the matter being before Nersa.

When Nersa turned down Msunduzi’s initial application for a 10% increase, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) advised its members to pay seven percent more instead of 10%, pending the outcome of the appeal.

At the last council meeting, municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said that pending the appeal, the next account, which residents should be getting now, would reflect a seven percent increase.

DA councillor Mergan Chetty said it was wrong that the municipality had gone ahead and charged residents a 10% increase after July when the matter was still before Nersa.

He inquired whether Nkosi had systems in place to credit residents for the extra amount charged.

Nkosi said there would be processes in place to make the adjustments.

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