If Eskom’s new proposed tariff hike is implemented, it could hit hardest the pockets of households using less electricity than the average — as well as those living off the grid.
On July 5, the Pretoria high court ordered the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to publish Eskom’s tariff application for an increase of 32.66% for 2023/24 by August 1.
Eskom GM of regulation, Hasha Tlhotlhalemaje, said it was difficult to give the final cost for homeowners because the tariff would only be announced by December 24.
But Eskom was using the 2020/21 financial year to base the increase on, which she said would likely be the case.
Tlhotlhalemaje said it was important to understand the context of the increased tariffs.
During the previous three financial years Nersa had incorrectly deducted R69bn from Eskom’s allowable revenue. They have been ordered to add this deduction back to Eskom over the next four years.
In simple terms, those who are connected to the grid but do not use any of Eskom’s electricity would previously have paid R218, but will now pay R938.
Those who use 400kWh or below were paying R888, but will now pay R1,481 a month, and those who use 800kWh or below were paying R1,752 but will now pay R2,023 a month.
According to Eskom, the average household uses 900kWh of electricity per month.
The proposed tariff only works in the user’s favour once they exceed the typical monthly usage.
- Those using 1,200kWh would pay R2,810 pm, but will now pay R2,563 pm
- 1,600kWh would pay R3867 pm, but will now pay R3107 pm
- 2,000kWh would pay R4,925 pm, but will now pay R3,649 pm
- 2,400kWh would pay R5,983 pm, but will now pay R4,192 pm
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) chair Wayne Duvenage said people going off the grid are now faced with a Catch-22 situation where they need to seek an alternative electricity supply, but are penalised for doing so.