South Africa’s Energy Regulator Approves 18.65% Electricity Tariff Hike

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  • South Africa’s energy regulator, NERSA, today approved a 18.65% electricity tariff hike for the country’s state owned energy utility, Eskom, effective from 1st April for the 2023 financial year.
  • A 12.74% tariff hike was approved for 2024 which brings a total price increase for the next two years at 33.7%. 
  • Eskom has unsustainable debt of around R400 billion and cannot meet the country’s electricity demand.

In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has criticised the operational performance of the national power utility Eskom and said the country’s energy minister needs to act urgently to procure more electricity generation.

“Power supplies from all technologies including nuclear should be considered as security of supply needs to be prioritized,” he said. Eskom is currently subjecting South Africans to as much as 10 hours of power cuts a day, or so-called stage 6 power cuts, with about half of its generating capacity offline, a situation Godongwana said is “inexplicable”.

But the Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has bungled three new generation energy procurement tenders since taking up his tenure three years ago. Read more 

The government now wants Eskom to fall under the Ministry of Energy rather than the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises (SOE) where it currently sits. The country’s president, Cyril Ramaohosa, annouced that the move was a clear mandate from the ANC party’s elective conference where he secured a second term in office. Read more

Related news: South Africa’s renewable energy procurement programme in tatters

The SOE Minister, Pravin Gordhan, recently appointed a new board at Eskom. Citing no support from the new board and facing accusations of treason from the Energy Minister, Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, resigned last month. The outgoing CEO has laid an attempted murder charge with the South African Police Service, after drinking a cup of coffee laced with cyanide at his Eskom office. Read more

In October last year the Finance Minister announced that government will be taking on between one-third and two-thirds of Eskom’s debt to try a turn the beleaguered utility around. Read more

Decades of gross mismanagement, poor planning, corruption, sabotage and theft have brought the utility to its knees. The people of South Africa face stage 6 blackouts daily. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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