Load shedding renders lower price hike hollow

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Despite ongoing load shedding South Africans will soon be paying more for electricity.
Despite ongoing load shedding South Africans will soon be paying more for electricity.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) may well have approved a lower, adjusted annual price hike for electricity, but as load shedding continues it is of little comfort to the public.In a statement released in Thursday (12 January) the regulator approved a 18,65% price increase, which translates to a traffic of 146,48c/kWh.

According to Nersa, the increase was adjusted after “conducting due regulatory process.”Eskom applied for a 32% price hike, but after public consultation Nersa received around 2 000 written comments on stakeholders’ concern on the affordability of the proposed increase. “Accordingly, the Energy Regulator’s decision provides a balance between the sustainability of Eskom and the economic well-being of the consumers and the economy,” it said in its statement.

The power utility said on Friday (13 January) its highest priority is to minimising of load shedding, which is current indefinitely implemented at stage 6.

“Eskom appreciates the tough decision made by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for the FY2024 and FY2025 revenue determinations and recognises the pressures this determination will place on consumers. “Once Nersa makes a decision on the restructuring of tariffs (as submitted during August 2020 and 2022), these decisions will ensure Eskom can apply the tariff adjustments to its customers from 01 April 2023,” the power utility explained in a statement.

In July 2022 the High Court ordered Nersa to undertake the necessary regulatory steps to assess, consult and make a determination on Eskom’s FY2024 and FY2025 Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) Application. Nersa has approved revenue of R334bn for the 2024-’25 year.“Eskom notes the decision by Nersa,” said Calib Cassim, Eskom’s Chief Financial Officer.

“This decision will positively contribute from a financial and sustainability point of view.“The revenue determination of R319 billion and R352 billion for the financial years 2024-’25 will allow a further migration towards a price level that reflects the efficient cost of producing electricity.”

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