DA seeks urgent court interdict to block 18.65% tariff hike

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DA leader John Steenhuisen. Photo: Gallo Images / Jeffrey Abrahams
DA leader John Steenhuisen. Photo: Gallo Images / Jeffrey Abrahams


The DA seeks to apply for an urgent court interdict to stop the implementation of the 18.65% electricity tariff increase approved by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) last week.

DA leader John Steenhuisen announced on Tuesday at a virtual media briefing about rolling blackouts. 

“I can announce that I have instructed our lawyers to apply directly to the High Court of South Africa to stop the implementation of this tariff increase. The time for writing letters and government talk shops and actions of begging this government to do its basic job is over,” said Steenhuisen.

Nersa announced an 18.65% electricity tariff hike for the 2023/24 financial year. This will come into effect in April with a 12.74% increase approved for the 2024/25 financial year. 

READ: Nersa greenlights 18.65% electricity tariff hike amid load shedding woes

Steenhuisen conceded that South Africans spent a third of 2022 in darkness, were currently burdened with stage 6 blackouts, and were now expected to pay for the looting and mismanagement of Eskom's funds and policy failures. 

Steenhuiseen said: 

The electricity rates have already increased by over 650% since this crisis began in 2007. This is quadruple the inflation rate during the same period. We reject government's poor response or lack of response.

Meanwhile, leaders of other political parties and nonprofit organisations have written a scathing letter to the minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, and Eskom's outgoing CEO, Andre de Ruyter. Several established law firms prepared this letter.

Their demands are as follows:  

  • That there will be no load shedding without procedural fairness and a fair opportunity to make alternative arrangements to affected persons and businesses. 

  • That load shedding will stop with immediate effect, and if not, a full explanation about why government is unable to stop load shedding with immediate effect.

  • In the alternative, we are instructed to demand a specific timetable the as to when load shedding will end, and the reasons for the said time table. 

  • That the state will develop and make publicly available a clear plan to end load shedding and which plan must include the resources available to ensure that it is realised.

  • That the 18.65% increase granted by Nersa will not be implemented pending the determination of the court challenge which our clients intend to institute.

READ: Nersa ruling impact: Electricity price decreases not imminent - expert

  • That the state will, through any lawfully created mechanism, make reasonable disclosure to the public on the challenges driving the energy crisis and the solutions implemented to solve it.

Eskom and Gordhan have been given a deadline of January 20 to respond to the demands.  

“If we are compelled to bring proceedings, which we hope to avoid, papers shall be lodged on January 23 2023 for urgent relief,” said the letter. 

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