The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) chairperson, Jacob Modise on Thursday announced that South Africans will now pay 9.41% more for electricity in 2019/20.
In 2020 tariffs will hike 8.1% and a further 5.22% in 2021.
The South African Local Government Association (Salga) representatives for municipalities argued against the hikes, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Salga made submissions at the Nersa hearings, rejecting Eskom’s request for a tariff increase.
Eskom argues that it requires these increases to make up for the revenue shortfall from municipal debts, however, Salga says it will further increase municipal debts.
Head of electricity and energy at Salga, Nhlanhla Ngidi says what consumers will be experiencing is a hike of 9.41% plus a 4.4% increase for diffusion pending from the previous regulatory account applied for by Eskom.
So what we will be experiencing in 2019/20 is actually a 13.8% increase.— Nhlanhla Ngidi, Head of electricity and energy - Salga
Yes, these increases are exacerbating the municipal debt issue and even though a lot of municipalities are hard-pressed around their reasonings for people not paying for electricity, they are trying hard to pay.— Nhlanhla Ngidi, Head of electricity and energy - Salga
It is not all municipalities that are owing to Eskom. It is a substantial number, but a huge number of municipalities while being hard-pressed are still maintaining the Eskom account.— Nhlanhla Ngidi, Head of electricity and energy - Salga
The increases will have a fundamental impact on how municipalities are able to collect the debt from consumers.
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