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    Eskom’s NERSA-approved 18,49% electricity price hike to municipalities is unaffordable and unjust

    March 20, 2023 - Elise Jacobs


      Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says Eskom's NERSA-approved 18,49% price hike to municipalities is unfair, unaffordable, and unjust for residents struggling with the rising cost of living. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced the increase percentage for municipal bulk purchases of electricity on Friday, 17 March. The increase underscores how important and urgent it is for the City to reduce reliance on Eskom to put a stop to outrageous increases every year. The City is planning to lessen reliance on Eskom's increasingly unaffordable electricity by buying power on the open market. Cape Town's three-phase procurement for load-shedding protection has reached several important milestones this month. The largest procurement - a 500MW tender to buy power on the open market - is on track to open on 29 March 2023. Besides bringing more affordable power into the Cape Town grid, the aim is to provide at least four stages of load-shedding protection progressively over the next three years under the Mayoral Priority Programme to end load-shedding over time.

      'Eskom's 18,49% increase to municipalities comes at the worst possible time, with so many South Africans struggling with the rising cost of living. The public is being forced to pay for corruption and mismanagement at Eskom in the most unfair, unaffordable and unjust way. That is why in Cape Town we are working to end our Eskom reliance and diversify energy supply to more affordable power sources. Approximately 70% of the City's income from the sale of electricity goes toward buying bulk electricity from Eskom, and the remaining 30% goes toward a reliable electricity service, healthy grid infrastructure, and the programme to end load-shedding over time.

      'In crunching the numbers for our upcoming budget, we are working hard to cushion especially the poorest residents from this massive Eskom increase as far as possible, while also funding our programme to end load-shedding and reduce sole reliance on expensive Eskom power as fast as possible,' said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

      Mayor Hill-Lewis has repeatedly tabled the City's opposition to Eskom's massively above-inflation tariff asks during public hearings held by NERSA, most recently in September 2022.


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