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Nersa to announce decision on Eskom price hike

Businesses, organisations and ordinary citizens have strongly opposed the power price hikes.

Eskom has applied for a 25 percent tariff hike. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is expected to make its decision today on Eskom's application for a 25 percent tariff hike.

Nersa held public hearings last week with a number of businesses, organisations and ordinary citizens strongly opposing the electricity price increase.

An increase of 12 percent has already been approved and acting Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Molefe said they would not be pursue a 2.5 percent environmental levy. The utility is thus looking for an increase of about 9.5 percent for the 2015/16 financial year to keep the lights on.

Molefe said load shedding costs six times more than what it is asking for to run the open cycle gas turbines which require diesel.

"A lot of people have spoken about the 25 percent increase and how it is not affordable, but very few people have spoken about the cost of load shedding."

Eskom says it wants to stabilise the grid, but serious concerns have been raised about mines closing down and the farming sector being unable to recover.

To view your load shedding schedule, _ click here_.

Read more on how to survive load shedding, _ here_.