Eskom confident of tariff hike approval

Public hearings were held across the country over the past month.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom remains confident of its arguments at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for a 16,6 percent tariff hike for this year, in order to recover costs.

Public hearings were held across the country over the past month, and ended in Gauteng two weeks ago.

Businesses have strongly opposed a further electricity price hike, but the utility says it needs to claw back R22.8 billion, some of which was spent on buying diesel to keep the lights on.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says a decision will be made next week.

"The regulator had said to us they will make a determination on 25 February so we are waiting with bated breath what the decision will be but we are hoping for a positive outcome."


Nersa heard last week how an electricity tariff hike will have a severe impact on business, the mining sector and the individual.

The Chamber of Mines warned about the possibility of 40,000 job losses if Eskom's application is approved.

Sibanye Gold's Peter Turner said it was difficult to plan ahead without reliable and affordable electricity.

"The last thing an investor wants is surprises. We are seeing disinvestment, we're seeing the economic turmoil and at the heart of that, I think Eskom has a huge role to play."

Energy advisor Ted Blom also criticised Eskom's lack of maintenance on the grid.

Many organisations have also questioned Eskom's use of the open cycle gas turbines, saying diesel costs are too high and if this continues the utility may want to clawback again in the future.

Business Unity South Africa also raised concerns about the tariff hike. It said companies have already bared the brunt of increases and planning for the future becomes a futile exercise.