Public hearings to be held on Eskom's proposed tariff increase

Nersa is expected to hold public hearings soon about Eskom's proposed 25.3 percent tariff increase.

Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Energy Regulator of South Africa is expected to hold public hearings soon about Eskom's proposed 25.3 percent tariff increase.

The proposed increase includes the 12.6 percent already approved.

The utility has been battling financially and has asked for the tariff increases in order to recover some of the billions it has spent on the diesel operated generators.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said, "The process for public hearings will be held and the public will have their input."

Meanwhile, South Africans have been warned to prepare for more frequent power cuts this winter.

Despite Eskom's maintenance work, the utility is still behind and won't be able to avoid load shedding for some time.

It's something South Africans are expected to get used to, despite assurances from the parastatal that it will do all it can to keep the lights on.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said more maintenance work is better in the long run.

Several generators have broken down this week because Eskom said despite its maintenance festival over the long weekends, it has a major backlog and wasn't able to attend too many of its generators.

The utility said it has lost about 400 megawatts from Mozambique, which has put the local power system under further strain.