Concerns raised of impact on business after Nersa approves Eskom tariff hikes

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa on Thursday approved a tariff hike of 9.41% for this year.

Picture: @NERSA_ZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - There has been mixed reaction to the decision to approve tariff increases for Eskom with some saying it was unavoidable, and others saying it will be devastating for business.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Thursday approved a tariff hike of 9.41% for this year.

This will be followed by an 8.1% hike for 2020 and a 5.2% hike for the year thereafter.

Many sectors of business said the hikes were unavoidable but others don’t agree.

Business Unity South Africa vice president Martin Kingston said many businesses would need to have a long and hard discussion about their futures.

“There’s no doubt that business is going have to consider the ramifications in terms of higher tariff increases than we were anticipating or seeking.”

However, Business Leadership South Africa’s Bonang Mohale said Eskom needed to service its debt.

“At the moment they have a debt that is approaching R500 billion from R491 billion.”

Minerals Council's Chief Economist Henk Langenhoven said the council was not expecting such high increases.

“We are very disappointed that it is as high because it is literally two-thirds than what Eskom had asked.”

Meanwhile, lobby group the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse welcomed better oversight at Eskom but said the power producer received more than it deserved.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)