Home South African Eskom under fire for proposed new electricity tariffs

Eskom under fire for proposed new electricity tariffs

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This follows Eskom suggesting that tariffs needed to be modernised to reflect the changing electricity environment.

File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso

EMBATTLED power utility Eskom has come under fire following its proposal of new power tariffs, and its bid that on-grid solar users pay R938 per month even if they don’t use its electricity.

This follows Eskom suggesting tariffs needed to be modernised to reflect the changing electricity environment.

Currently, the variable and fixed costs gathered in producing electricity in the country are paid for through a single electricity tariff calculated per kWh of consumption.

Eskom wants the tariff to be divided into two charges which show costs separately.

Customers would pay a fixed capacity fee, whether they use electricity or not to cover fixed costs, and a variable charge based on their use.

Eskom is also proposing a net-billing rate for those capable of producing their own electricity.

The national energy regulator (Nersa) is to decide whether to grant Eskom’s application for a tariff increase of 32.66 percent.

Eskom’s proposal comes at a time when the country has been experiencing the worst load shedding so far. The power utility implemented Stage 6 load shedding on June 28, for only the second time since the rolling blackouts began.

The DA said Eskom’s latest tariff application for a 32.7 percent increase in the price of electricity was immoral and an insult to South Africans who have endured possibly the worst load shedding schedule so far this year.

The DA said it would submit its objections to this proposed Eskom “rip-off” once Nersa opens public comments on August 1.

“South Africans are already struggling to stay above water due to the sharply rising cost of living, and a high inflationary environment. For Eskom to add an additional high electricity tariff increase for a service they cannot provide is simply unacceptable,” the DA said.

The DA rejected Eskom’s new power tariffs proposal that could see households having to pay more for using less electricity.

Households with lower than average electricity consumption in South Africa and solar users will be expected to pay hundreds of rand more every month, the party said.

“It is time South African consumers are put first, and that the government – and Eskom – abandon their manoeuvres where the consumer keeps on having to foot the bill for their the state’s failure,” the DA said.

It said Nersa should reject Eskom’s tariff application because its first obligation was towards consumers, and not Eskom.

Social media users also voiced their dissatisfaction with the power utility.

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