The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) has approved higher-than-standard electricity tariffs in 23 municipalities – and at least 20 may be illegal as they did not include public participation.
Municipal electricity prices went up from 1 July when the new financial year started. The national guideline increase is 1.88%, and the municipalities which wanted to charge more had to get permission for NERSA for this.
NERSA has now published all the approved tariffs.
NERSA held a public hearing in May for 24 municipalities which applied for permission to charge more than the nationally set increase of 1.88%.
Of those, 13 were refused, 10 were granted and no outcome was provided for one.
Another 20 municipalities or entities were granted higher-than-standard increases. These applications were not part of the May public hearing and no public hearing appears to have been held, which indicates that these hikes are not legal.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) opposed all the applications and OUTA’s Portfolio Director for Energy, Ted Blom, attended NERSA’s public hearing where he argued that all the increases were illegal because the municipalities failed to provide the legally required detailed information to back up their applications.
By the time NERSA published the approved tariffs, the new financial year had already started so those decisions were probably all implemented with consumers knowing.
NERSA has not published the reasons for the decisions, only the approved tariffs. The percentage increase is an overall increase in the tariffs, so some tariffs within a municipality may go up less than this and others more.
These are the increases approved for the 24 applicants invited to the May public hearing:
Abaqulusi, KwaZulu-Natal (6.4% requested, 6.1% approved)
Breede Valley, Western Cape (3.98% requested and approved)
Cape Agulhas, Western Cape (7.68% requested and approved)
City of Cape Town, Western Cape (3.34% requested and approved)
City of Joburg (City Power), Gauteng (2.28% requested and approved)
Dikgatlong, Northern Cape (7% requested, 1.88% approved)
Karoo Hoogland, Northern Cape (6.4% requested, 1.88% approved)
Lekwa, Mpumalanga (8.5% requested, 1.88% approved)
Magareng, Northern Cape (9% requested, 1.88% approved)
Mantsopa, Free State (6.33% requested, 1.88% approved)
Matzikama, Western Cape (3.11% requested and approved)
Msukaligwa, Mpumalanga (10% requested, 1.88% approved)
Msunduzi , KZN (5% requested, 1.88% approved)
Oudtshoorn, Western Cape (2% requested, 3.88% approved)
Phumelela, Free State (10% requested, 1.88% approved)
Rand West, Gauteng (2% requested and approved)
Renosterberg, Northern Cape (6.4% requested, no details of what was approved)
Stellenbosch, Western Cape (2.22% requested and approved)
Thaba Chweu, Mpumalanga (12% requested, 1.88% approved)
Thembelihle, Northern Cape (8% requested, 1.88% approved)
Tswaing, North West (6% requested, 1.88% approved)
Inkosi Langalibalele (formerly Umtshezi), KZN (6.2% requested, 1.88% approved)
Umvoti, KZN (6.4% requested, 1.88% approved)
UPhongolo, KZN (5% requested and approved)
Another 20 municipalities with increases above the national standard of 1.88%:
Midvaal, Gauteng 5%
Westonaria, Gauteng 2%
Govan Mbeki, Mpumalanga 1.92%
Mbombela, Mpumalanga 2.12%
Nkomazi, Mpumalanga 2.07%
Umjindi, Mpumalanga 2.2%
Ga-Segonyana, Northern Cape 2.34%
Kareeberg, Northern Cape 2.51%
Blouberg, Limpopo 5.5%
Elias Motsoaledi, Limpopo 2.65%
Greater Tzaneen, Limpopo 2.01%
Mookgophong, Limpopo 2%
Polokwane, Limpopo 4%
Maquassi Hills, North West 2.47%
Rustenburg, North West 4.9%
Ithala, KZN 4.81%
Vleesbaai Dienste / Services, Western Cape 7.97%
King Sabata Dalindyebo, Eastern Cape 4%
Kouga, Eastern Cape 2.05%
Sakhisizwe, Eastern Cape 3.2%
All the approved municipal tariffs are on NERSA’s website www.nersa.org.za under electricity > Pricing and Tariffs > Tariffs > Local Authorities.
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