Eskom has reportedly asked the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for a 32.66% tariff increase which will see South Africans pay ridiculously high amounts of money for electricity.
This comes at a time when South African citizens are also battling sky-high fuel prices and inflation. According to The Citizen, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation soon about emergency steps to address the power crisis and get more energy onto the grid.
Later last year Eskom asked Nersa for a 20.5% tariff increase for 2022 to 2023. However, the energy regulator was only able to grant the state-owned utility company a 9.6% increase instead.
The country recently escaped a very intense stage 6 load-shedding after Eskom employees under certain unions participated in a wage protest which forced the power utility to offer a 7% wage increase. The unions had initially demanded a 15% increase which the company said it cannot afford.
As per The Citizen, if Eskom gets the full increase it is applying for, it will target a further increase of 9.63% in 2024/25.
According to Broad Media, Ramaphosa said that the government and Eskom’s primary focus is to put megawatts on the grid to mitigate the current rolling blackouts the country is experiencing.
“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.
By Zintle Nkohla
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