Nersa urged to consider consumers' pockets

Public hearings are being held in Midrand today over Eskom’s application for a 16,6% tariff hike.

A small group of people, from the Right to Know Campaign, were picketing outside Gallagher Estate on 4 February 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - AfriBusiness has urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to consider whether consumers are able to fork out more for electricity.

Public hearings are being held in Midrand today over Eskom's application for a 16,6 percent tariff hike.

The utility has argued that it needs to recover R22,8 billion.

AgriBusiness's Stefan Pieterse says Eskom wants consumers to pay for its inefficiencies.

"The maintenance schedule is under Eskom's own control. It spent its maintenance budget but the benefit thereof seems questionable. Eskom has only itself to blame for the poor maintenance practices that we have to suffer for as a result."

Eskom, however, has argued that it's been prudent and transparent in its application for a tariff hike and insists that buying diesel to keep the lights on was the last resort.

#Eskom shows a slide of what #Loadshedding would have looked like without running the OCGT's that use diesel. GN

At the same time, a small group of people from the Right to Know Campaign are picketing outside Gallagher Estate. They say this application must be rejected

They are holding placards saying 'Eskom cannot increase tariffs'.

Spokesperson Bongani Xezwi said, "It's going to cause problems for the users and what we are saying to Eskom is that we've seen less transparency and less of our Constitution in terms of their management, for instance, Medupi. What happened at Medupi? What we are saying is that Eskom needs to start investing in solar."