The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has granted struggling public enterprise, Eskom, permission to hike electricity tariffs in April 2019. This will push up the price of electricity by 10-19.4%.
Nersa announced this move on 2 October, done in a bid to recover a Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) balance of R32.96-billion that was lost for the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017/18 financial years due to mismanagement of funds and alleged corruption.
The electricity hike will include a 4.1% increase which will be recovered from standard customers over the next four years. Thereafter, the hike will fall away after a four year period.
This will also deal yet another financial blow to struggling South Africans, as the price of fuel experienced the sharpest hike in South Africa’s recorded history on Wednesday.
Although Nersa has granted Eskom the 4.1% tariff increase, it is still considering a further 15% hike.
The public enterprise announced that it coal reserves were dangerously low in September, and that at least 10 of their power stations were expected to last less than 10 days on their current supply.
Khulu Phasiwe, Eskom spokesperson, confirmed that the coal reserves of these 10 coal-powered stations remain worryingly low. “Stock levels remain low because they are not being replenished fast enough,” he told The Daily Maverick on Tuesday. “Eskom is confident that new contracts will be in place within this month so that we can start the process of rebuilding the coal stock levels.”