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Eskom asks for 20.5% power tariff hike next year

Regulator must make a decision by February 25.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

South Africa’s struggling state-owned power utility Eskom has applied for a 20.5% electricity tariff increase for the financial year that starts on April 1, 2022, it said on Wednesday.

Energy regulator Nersa rarely grants Eskom the full amount it applies for, but the size of the latest request means electricity users in Africa’s most industrialised economy could face much larger power bills next year.

Eskom cited an expected rise in spending on power supplied by independent producers, a carbon tax, and coal procurement costs among reasons why it should be granted the sharply higher tariff, a summary of its application showed.

Nersa has to make a decision on the application by February 25, the high court ruled earlier this month, following a dispute between the two parties.

Eskom argues that Nersa has not allowed it to recoup sufficient revenue via electricity tariffs and says that is one of the reasons it is dependent on government bailouts.

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