Energy regulator the National Energy Regulator(NERSA) has granted Eskom a 5.2 % tariff increase for the 2018/19 financial year. Eskom had applied for a 19.9 % increase.

NERSA conducted hearings across the country last month to find out whether the cash-strapped power utility should be granted the increase. The regulator’s Mbulelo Ncetezo says the decision on the tariff increase took into consideration the needs of consumers.

“We believe that this is a fair decision both on the Eskom side and on the customer’s side. We took into consideration an affordability issues and also sustainability issues on the part of Eskom. From now we will do the municipalities. This was Eskom process. From this one we will go to the municipality process where we will now have to come to what the municipalities will increase their tariffs by seeing that Eskom is going to increase by 5.23 %.”

Meanwhile,The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says the 5.2 % tariff increase  is a bittersweet victory for civil society. Outa says NERSA should have granted Eskom a zero-percent increase since consumers are already paying more for electricity.

“We got to review what they said. Because sometimes there is a lot in the bitter. We will review the judgement in terms of what was approved and then will respond accordingly. It should have been zero because over the period of two or three years over zero per cent would gotten to the point where at least it becomes market related ,” says  Outa CEO, Ben Theron.

Theron says Eskom has been overcharging consumers in the last few years.

Click video below: