The Western Cape Government welcomes the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) decision to grant Eskom an 8% tariff increase and not the 16% they had originally requested.
Eskom had applied for a 16% per annum increase for five years. After Public Hearings where the proposed increase was widely opposed by members of the public, civil society, trade unions and the Western Cape Government, Nersa has now granted Eskom an 8% average increase per annum over the next five years.
Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism said: "While we understand that the country is experiencing a shortage of energy, as the entity responsible for the production of electricity in South Africa, Eskom needs to look at innovative ways of producing electricity, such as renewable energy. In the Western Cape, renewable energy is one of our biggest investment areas. We expect that between 40 and 50 percent of wind power projects in South Africa and 15 percent of solar energy projects will be set up in the Western Cape by 2014 to provide for about 10 percent of our region's energy needs."
"The price hike will hit the already over-burdened consumer and entrepreneurs operating in the small. medium and micro enterpruse (SMME) sector the hardest. To prevent job losses, it is high time for Eskom to seek innovative solutions." Minister Winde added.