No proof that SA has cheap electricity prices

2010-01-22 14:27

THERE is no documented proof that South Africa enjoys cheaper

energy prices than its global counterparts, the SA Pulp and Paper Industry

(Sappi) and the SA Institute of Electrical Engineers have said.

Addressing the National Energy Regulator SA (Nersa) public hearings

in Midrand and wearing a hat for each of the two organisations, Du Toit Grobler

said South Africa had been lulled into believing the above was true.

“We spend too much time listening to people and listening to Eskom.

It’s documented nowhere,” said Grobler.

One of the recommendations made on behalf of Sappi was that Eskom

should regularly publish the electricity price of other countries and benchmark

South Africa’s price against these.

Grobler said the “bad” results that would emanate should a 35%

price hike be granted to Eskom, would not only impact ordinary consumers’

wallets, but also workers’ job security or the ability to get employment, but

foreign investment in industrial development would be compromised.

“Ugly” results would include the rush to install industrial and

domestic generators by unqualified engineers which could lead to safety risks,

higher prices could also drive an increase in energy theft and corruption.

“The increased price is not linked to an increase in supply

quality. We’ve almost forgotten about quality of supply.”

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