AfriForum: High power tariffs will be further blow to poor economy

The civil right organisation AfriForum submitted further commentary to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on the impact that an electricity tariff increase may have on the South African economy. This follows AfriForum’s participation in public hearings on Eskom’s application to recover an amount of R27,3 billion from consumers by way of a regulatory clearing account application. This translates to a 16% increase.

“The economy is already under severe pressure and Eskom’s non-performance – of which load-shedding is but one of the outcomes – will only exacerbate the already struggling economy. Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance, tried to bring some relief to South Africans in his budget speech. We shouldn’t replace this relief with higher electricity costs,” says Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum.

AfriForum is of the opinion that Nersa should put a stop to Eskom’s plans to borrow more money and recover this from the consumer. Eskom should focus on applying better management rather than transferring their costs to the consumer.

“Eskom management’s current affairs for the 2019/2020 book year have still not improved. We expect from them to apply better management practices and to adhere to the basic requirements of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 before they come begging for more,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Manager of Local Government Affairs.

AfriForum will continue to monitor the process.

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