Business Chamber strongly rejects further electricity increases

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber strongly rejects additional increases in electricity tariffs for 2016.

The Chamber said in a statement on Monday, that lobbying on behalf of their members on issues that affect their sustainability, the Business Chamber simply cannot accept the raising of tariffs by nearly 17% by April this year, instead of the 8% already agreed upon.

Representatives from the Business Chamber will today present their concerns at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)’s public hearing on Eskom’s Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application for the third year multi-year price determination (MYPD3).

Eskom has applied for an RCA balance of R22.8 billion.

“Citizens and businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay cannot afford increases beyond the original MYPD3 and, once granted, this application would not be in the interest of an enabling environment for business to be globally competitive – particularly in the current economic climate,” the statement read.

“Business simply cannot absorb the effects of this RCA application, which we believe is to recover inefficiencies in maintenance and planning by Eskom.”

Against the background of a crippling drought, national political instability and the depreciation of the Rand, the Chamber proposes that tariffs must, in fact, be contained and minimised to accommodate businesses, who find themselves under immense strain, to counter the economic downturn by stimulating growth and employment in the country.

Electricity tariffs have increased almost five fold since 2001 and as a result business has had to reduce its usage of power and invest in alternative energy as prices continue to escalate. “This could inevitably lead to further reduction of investment and employment in the country.

“The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber will continue to be at the forefront of protecting businesses’ interest in relation to uncompetitive electricity tariffs, as we did last year by lobbying in various public meetings and behind the scenes for the future sustainability of the city’s economy,” the statement read. – REPORTER

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