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Eskom says it needs tariff hike to avert complete financial meltdown

The power utility has approached the courts to review the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's decision to deduct a R69 billion bailout from Eskom's approved revenue for the current tariff period.

Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Eskom on Tuesday said it must hike consumer tariffs to avert a complete financial meltdown.

The power utility has approached the courts to review the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's decision to deduct a R69 billion bailout from Eskom's approved revenue for the current tariff period.

The parastatal said this meant it would need steeper tariff hikes from the approved 8.1% this financial year to 16%.

The energy regulator’s decision to classify government’s R69 billion bailout to Eskom as revenue means Eskom will get less from consumers.

For this reason, the parastatal wants higher consumer tariffs over the next two years.

Eskom's Hasha Tlhotlhalemaje said that besides increased tariffs this year, it would also need more than the 5.2% hike approved for next year.

"And this 5.23% increase, which 2.2% is accounted for by independent power producers, leaves Eskom with a 3% nominal increase. Now any household, let alone Eskom, cannot function that way."

She said Eskom remained well aware of the financial situation of consumers but stressed the company needed to be sustainable.