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THE city of Tshwane is rejecting power utility Eskom’s proposed 19.9% electricity hike, labelling it unaffordable for residents.
“The City of Tshwane, through the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), has rejected Eskom’s draft revenue application submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for a 19.9% tariff hike. This is on the basis that the City and the people of Tshwane can ill-afford such an increase which would effectively translate to a 27% increase for the city and its residents,” mayor Solly Msimanga said in a statement.
This follows submissions made by the City of Tshwane and other municipalities to SALGA. Msimanga said electricity sales in municipalities show a sustained downward trend over the last years and in some cases have dropped significantly.
“Today the sale of electricity is at record low levels for all municipalities. The 19.9% tariff hike would put great strain on the City of Tshwane as we already grapple with issues of non-payment, low revenue collections and theft. The fact is that every electricity hike costs the municipality more to cross-subsidise the poor. We cannot bear any increase that is higher than inflation as this will put further strain on the poorer people in our communities,” he said.
Msimanga added that there was more room for reducing inefficiencies at Eskom in order to save money and not pass costs to consumers. He added that a properly structured plan to phase in increases should be developed to avoid an exorbitant increase in just one year.
“While the Eskom tariff application advances reasons for the price increases (justified or not), we reject the 19.9% increase on the basis that it is exorbitant and places an undue burden on the City and its residents who are our primary concern. The DA-led multi-party administration is committed to ensuring that we provide sustainable and affordable electricity to our people in our efforts to ensure an inclusive and caring Tshwane of opportunity,” said Msimanga.