The Tshwane Metro this past month announced three different electricity tariff increases for the 2019/2020 term. These tariff increases include an electricity increase of 12% with the three basic tariff charges of respectively R56, R120 and R200 that are payable before any electricity is consumed. AfriForum is opposing these excessive increases and is making a plea to Nersa to reject the increases. The organisation will also consult with its legal team to have the increases put aside should it be approved. The new tariff will come into effect from 1 July 2019.
The basic tariff means that electricity consumers will need to pay this tariff before any electricity is even consumed. For prepaid electricity consumers it means that if you purchase electricity to the value of R56, R120 or R200, you will receive no units for the electricity purchased and will need to purchase additional electricity before receiving any units at all.
The first increase that was announced appeared in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and includes a basic tariff of R56 that is applicable to all consumers. The second announcement appeared in the Government Gazette of 19 June 2019 and includes a basic tariff of R200. AfriForum furthermore obtained a third basic tariff increase of R120 via a PAIA process that was proposed by the Metro. According to AfriForum’s calculations, the basic charge of R56 as proposed in the IDP will not be a problem and consumers might even pay less than previously, but the other two proposed basic tariff charges will not reach the cut-off point of 13,8%.
Nersa’s guidelines for electricity increases propose a proposed increase of 13,8% for municipalities to ensure that these increases do not get excessive. The problem with the basic tariff charges, as proposed by the Metro, is however that the percentage increase of electricity consumers will be considerably more than the proposed 13,8%.
Specific processes such as the public participation processes, that offer the public the opportunity to deliver input regarding the increase, first need to be followed before Nersa can approve the increase.
According to Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Greater Pretoria North, the Metro is attempting to have consumers pay much more than what is being prescribed by Nersa.
“AfriForum believes the Tshwane Metro has found a way via a devious manner to have consumers pay much more than the allowed 13,8%. The charges of R200 and R120 are sharp increases compared to the proposed R56 and seem to be unreasonable and cannot be justified.”
Nersa will decide by 28 June 2019 if the proposed tariff increase will be implemented or not.
AfriForum is making a plea to the residents of Pretoria to oppose the increases. Add your voice to the complaint by following this link and help to strengthen AfriForum’s hand: https://afriforum.co.za/tshwane-electricity-increases-afriforum-opposes/.