Cape Town – Eskom has reportedly asked the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for a 32.66% increase in electricity tariffs in order to address financial sustainability and liquidity issues.
According to BusinessTech, Eskom’s request comes after Nersa approved a 9.6% increase earlier this year.
It also comes at a time when South Africa is struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and is also at a breaking point following months of load shedding.
“Households are already under tremendous pressure due to higher food and fuel prices, a high tax burden and rising interest rates. An increase of this nature will squeeze households more and lead to less disposable income, thus pushing economic growth further downwards,” the report quoted Independent economist Elize Kruger as saying.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has also responded to the utility’s request, calling it immoral and an insult to South Africans who have been subjected to possibly the worst load shedding schedule this year.
“South Africans are already struggling to stay above water due to rising costs of living and a high inflationary environment. For Eskom to add an additional high electricity tariff increase for a service that they cannot provide is simply unacceptable.
“Consumers cannot be expected to subsidise Eskom’s unviable business model and the ANC’s decades-long failure to open up the energy market to independent power producers. The DA also notes and rejects Eskom’s new power tariffs proposal that could mean households will have to pay more money for using less electricity,” said the DA in a statement.
The party added that it will be tabling arguments to Nersa, calling for the proposed tariff hike to be scrapped.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo