Press Release: Eskom’s Tariff Application and Protest at NERSA Public Hearings
June 5, 2009
SENSE 56 June 2009
July 9, 2009

Published by earthlife at

Press Release: NERSA’s Ruling on Eskom Price Hike; Taxes for the Poor, Handouts for the Rich

Earthlife Africa Jhb
25/06/09

At twelve o’clock today in Pretoria, NERSA presented its ruling on Eskom’s application for a nominal 34% tariff increase to cover rising operational costs. Most importantly, NERSA ruled that 1) 31.3% average standard tariff increase for the next 9 months, including the 2 c/kWh environmental levy, 2) 15% increase to Eskom and municipal poor customers, 3) NERSA will investigate Eskom’s primary energy costs.

Earthlife Africa Jhb is disappointed that poor users will see increases beyond the rate of inflation. While NERSA did offer the hope of an expanded free basic allocation and a inclining step-block tariff at some later date, this does not alleviate the financial burden on the poor during these cold winter months.

Tristen Taylor, Energy Policy Officer at Earthlife Africa Jhb, states, “Increasing the tariff on poor users will increase poverty and lack of access amongst the poor majority of South Africa’s citizenry. People will be forced into using dirty forms of energy, such as coal and paraffin, without assistance. What is shocking is that while poor users, small businesses and domestic customers will all be faced with increases, Eskom’s large customers (under Special Purchasing Agreements) will not be affected. Essentially township dwellers and suburbanites will have increases to meet Eskom costs, but large companies like BHP Billiton (annual profit of US$6 billion) are given a pass. This is taxes for the poor, and handouts for the rich.”

Eskom’s large customers have tariffs sent under sweetheart conditions, often with very low tariffs and low rates of increase. Some of these contracts hark back to the days of over-capacity and even Apartheid politics. It is unacceptable that citizens have to meet Eskom’s rising costs while large users continue to enjoy electricity cheaper than anywhere else in the world and are not affected by NERSA’s decision.

For more information, please contact:

Tristen Taylor
Energy Policy Officer
Earthlife Africa Jhb
Tel: 011 339-3662
Cell: 084 250-2434
Email: tristen@earthlife.org.za
Website: www.earthlife.org.za

Makoma Lekalakala
Programme Officer
Earthlife Africa Jhb
Tel: 011 339-3662
Cell: 082 682-9177
Email: makoma@earthlife.org.za
Website: www.earthlife.org.za

Press Release: Eskom’s Tariff Application and Protest at NERSA Public Hearings
June 5, 2009
SENSE 56 June 2009
July 9, 2009

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