'Municipalities impose unregulated electricity hikes'

Electricity regulator Nersa says some municipalities hike electricity prices without its approval.

Nersa presents its strategic plan before energy parliamentary portfolio committee on 23 April 2013. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Tuesday said it was in a constant battle with municipalities which impose electricity hikes without its approval.

The regulator presented its strategic plan for the next three years to parliament's energy portfolio committee earlier.

Without naming and shaming, Nersa CEO Phindile Nzimande accused some municipalities of being non-compliant and imposing unregulated electricity hikes.

Nzimande said often the increases do not fall in line with the regulator's proposed hikes and are usually much higher.

She said often no penalties are imposed as municipalities are quick to rectify the matter once they are called in by Nersa.

Nzimande also called for amendments to the Nersa Act, which involves a commission and an independent appeals tribunal to be created.

She said a bill is currently before Parliament on the matter.