Continued from page 1Eskom’s application requested a general increase for Eskom customers of 19.9%, effective from April 1, next year, and increases to the municipalities of 29.5%, effective from July 1, next year. The Business Chamber has actively been protecting businesses’ interest in relation to critical issues which affect the Nelson Mandela Bay’s economy. “A reliable electricity supply at competitive prices is an absolute prerequisite for a healthy industry in the Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape in general. “For this reason it is our recommendation that Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application needs to be fundamentally reviewed before its implementation on April 1, 2018,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber electricity and energy board head MC Botha.“The financial year 2018/2019 revenue application not only raises the question whether the industry in South Africa will be able to continue sustaining itself but also whether Eskom will remain viable. “The incremental downward spiral of Eskom comes with dire consequences to this country,” Botha said. Botha said the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Review of October this year confirmed the already dire situation and the effect this application will have if implemented. “Confidence readings for businesses have reached their lowest levels since the global financial crisis and as such a sluggish economic growth forecast of 1.2% for the next two years is envisaged, which will be worsened by electricity inflationary pressures,” Botha said. In their submission, the NMB Business Chamber proposed that Eskom come up with an application where tariffs are contained to levels of inflation or below.“It is imperative that Eskom reverses its upward cost spiral and service delivery failures. “Eskom is failing our country and all its citizens. “It is the duty of Nersa to prevent this from continuing,” Botha said.The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber welcomes other submissions made by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Energy Intensive Users Group, Busa, Naamsa, Naacam, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and Afriforum.