Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) today welcomed the announcement by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) of a 5.23% inflationary linked electricity tariff hike. In deciding on the tariff, NERSA rejected the application by Eskom for a 19.9% tariff hike, electing instead to prioritise the public interest and consider the impact of the tariff in light of prevailing social and economic conditions.
BUSA acknowledged the role of NERSA, which had conducted a comprehensive public consultation process, that included consultation within Nedlac. NERSA received and considered 23 000 submissions during the course of the public consultations. BUSA stated that the unprecedented number of submissions from the public underscored the importance of Eskom to South Africa.
“NERSA is to be acknowledged for the comprehensive manner in which it consulted stakeholders and considered the ramifications of the tariff on the most poor, as well as on businesses large and small that are facing extreme headwinds in the current economic climate” said BUSA CEO, Tanya Cohen.
“The decision announced by NERSA will enable businesses to start the new year with certainty in respect of the most significant input costs”, stated Cohen
BUSA stated that it is imperative to engage in detail on how to ensure the sustainability of Eskom in the longer term – not only as the country’s dominant supplier of energy, but also due to the influential size of the Eskom debt relative to the national budget. In this regard BUSA reaffirmed its commitment to working with Government and Eskom to ensure the long term sustainability of Eskom.