Consumers could pay up to 16% more for electricity

Eskom is presenting its argument on the tariff increase at public hearings, which have started in Cape Town.

Eskom says it’s confident of recovering the R22, 8 billion it has applied for from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Consumers can expect to pay around 16 percent more for electricity if Eskom is successful in recovering nearly R22,8 billion.

The power utility is presenting its argument at public hearings which have started in Cape Town today.

Eskom says it's suffered several loses, including an almost R12 billion shortfall in revenue.

It's says it's confident of recovering the R22,8 billion through a further tariff increase it has applied for from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says should this be the case, it'll result in a double-digit tariff increase in April.

"The eight percent has already been given to us in 2013 is the additional amount, so for example, if we were to get an extra percent on top of the eight percent that we already have then effectively it would mean that at the beginning of April we'll have a 16 percent tariff increase."

The City of Cape Town has made opposing representations, saying the.loss in revenue should be absorbed by Eskom and not be passed onto the consumer.

HOSTILE RECEPTION TO PROPOSED TARIFF HIKE

Meanwhile, Eskom has been severely criticised at public hearings into its application for an additional tariff increase.

The power utility says it needs to recover spent between 2013 and 2014 to prevent load-shedding.

It has now approached the Nersa in a bid to double the next tariff increase to increase revenue.

The City of Cape Town says by applying for a higher tariff increase, Eskom is essentially trying to pass its revenue losses onto the consumer.

Virgin Active and automotive industry representative, Naacam have also opposed the application.

Naacam says Eskom is in what it called a self-induced spiral of decline, due poor financial control mechanisms.

Virgin Active's Jaco Wiese has recommended the power utility go back to the drawing board and look at other ways of recovering the money.