Msunduzi requests urgent meeting with Nersa to finalise electricity tariff

2014-01-17 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality has requested an urgent meeting with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to address the confusion surrounding the electricity tariff issue.

Chief financial officer Nelly Ngcobo said there were mixed messages emerging from the regulator.

She did not elaborate, but hinted that municipal discussions with Nersa appeared to differ from information being given by the regulator to the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB)

“We are waiting for Nersa to give us a date for this meeting. In our initial correspondence, they had indicated that they could not meet us before January 22 because key members of their team were on leave,” Ngcobo said.

She added that she has since stressed the urgency of a meeting as soon as possible to finalise the tariffs.

The municipality has maintained that it is following Nersa’s orders in implementing a 900% tariff increase that has the city’s commercial sector up in arms.

The DA has urged traders to request that council place a moratorium on payments of the increased amounts until the matter is clarified.

Businesses have been told that their electricity will be cut off if they do not pay up by the end of January.

It emerged at yesterday’s Executive Committee meeting that the municipality’s finances were sound and that it had enough funds to operate for the next three months if residents stopped paying for services.

In light of this, the DA’s Mergan Chetty said traders should pay their previous average accounts so as not to incur further interest.

“The municipal manager indicated that the council has reserves to carry it for three months. Therefore this will not cause a major financial crisis for council,” he said.

• The name of businessperson Chris Burczak was incorrectly spelt in yesterday’s story on the tariff issue. We apologise for the error.

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