ESKOM’S 25% HIKE WILL BE ‘A DISASTER’

ELECTRICITY consumers might have to dig deeper into their pockets should Eskom’s tariff hike application be granted.
The electricity generator applied to the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for a 25% tariff increase, citing that it was running at a loss.
Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said it had taken the cue from Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, who recom¬mended tariff increases in February to keep business afloat.
But in its meeting in Pretoria about Eskom’s application yesterday, Nersa opened a public participation process in which members of the public can start making submissions.
That will be followed by public hearings on June 23 and 24, then the decision on June 29.
Nersa spokesman Charles Hlebela said: “It will only be after June 29 that a decision will be taken … followed by implementation.”
The DA welcomed Nersa’s announce-ment, saying it opposed the tariff hike.
Residents of Orlando West in Soweto last week took to the streets, complain¬ing that the recent installation of pre¬paid meters had made electricity unaffordable.
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and Johannesburg regional branch of the ANC have scheduled a march from Hector Pieter- son Museum to Eskom’s Diepkloof offices today in protest against Friday’s 10-hour blackout in Soweto.
Debt expert Neil Roets said the increase was an ‘unmitigated disaster’ if granted.
? xabav@sowetan.co.za

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