The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is investigating the City of Cape Town’s electricity tariff increase and its tariff structure. This was confirmed by Nersa spokesperson, Charles Hlebela following an outcry from residents and numerous complaints.
“Nersa received numerous complaints regarding the City of Cape Town’s electricity tariffs and is looking into the matter”, Charles Hlebela confirmed. The investigation was widely welcomed, specifically from civic organisation Stop Coct, who had called for a public hearing by Nersa into electricity tariff increases which saw some property owners coughing up way more than the 8.8% increase as stated by the City.
According to Stop Coct spokesperson, Sandra Dickson, it appears that the City of Cape Town seem to have implemented tariff increases higher than what was initially recommended and approved by Nersa. For 2019/2020 Nersa approved an average increase of 13.07% for municipalities and the City of Cape Town had applied for a 11.30 % increase. However, the City of Cape Town announced in its budget that it would keep the electricity tariff increase at 8.8% for the current financial year.
This, according to Dickson, is technically flawed as some residents have been paying way more than the 8.8% tariff increase advised by the City. Some residents also paid a surcharge of R163.50 if their properties were valued at more than R1 million as well as a flat rate of 10%.
It also stopped giving free electricity units to customers whose monthly usage of electricity per month was more than 450 units over a period of 12 months.