25,3% electricity hike may be delayed — Nersa

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THE National Energy Regulator (Nersa) says the proposed 25,3% electricity hike planned for this year may be delayed until the 2016/2017 financial year following discussions with Eskom this week.

In light of a circular by National Treasury to municipalities, Eskom may withdraw its application for the electricity price increase.

Communications officer for Nersa Charles Hlebela said they are in “very tricky” discussions with Eskom and their decision on whether the increase will continue this year will only be known at the end of the week.

“I did not get the circular that was distributed by National Treasury to municipalities but I do believe Eskom is in discussion with Nersa and may withdraw their application to implement the increase,” said Hlebela.

He said if Eskom plans to apply for “a complete reopener” there might be a delay in the implementation of the increase.

The regulator said in a statement last month that the proposed increase includes the 12,69% it has already approved, a 10,10% “selective reopener for OCGTs [open-cycle gas turbines], STPPP [short-term power purchase programme]” and a 2,51% increase in the environmental levy by two cents per kilowatt-hour.

Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) called on all residents and businesses to take a stand against Eskom’s increase in electricity tariffs and participate in a mass gathering on June 23.

Pacsa’s Julie Smith says they are continuing with their plans for the city to come to a “standstill” protesting the electricity hike.

“… At the moment and everything remains the same until we get an official statement saying Eskom is withdrawing their application. But even then, we will protest Eskom’s 12,69% hike,” said Smith

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