Electricity cheapest in SA

AMID all the anger against Eskom and the National Energy Regulator, South Africa's electricity pricing is relatively cheap compared with other countries.

AMID all the anger against Eskom and the National Energy Regulator, South Africa's electricity pricing is relatively cheap compared with other countries.

Eskom chief executive Jacob Maroga and Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan, pictured, this week argued for the increase. Both pointed out that South Africa's electricity prices were the cheapest in the world.

Former Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin once hinted that the days of cheap electricity were over.

Hogan said a price hike was vital for Eskom to operate efficiently.

A survey in 2007 - the latest figures available - by NUS Consulting, a global utility cost management consulting firm showed that South Africa was at the bottom compared with 13 other countries.

The survey analysed market and pricing trends in 14 countries.

Denmark was on the top spot as far as electricity costs were concerned.

Yesterday's price hike means that South Africans are going to pay R33,14 cents a kilowatt hour from the present R25,24 cents.

Consumers in other countries pay more than 50 cents a kilowatt.

"By most surveys South Africa has some of the lowest electricity prices in the world. But in our view, this condition is unsustainable owing to rapid economic and population growth in the country," the firm said earlier this year.

Ayanda Shezi, spokesperson for Public Enterprises, said Hogan had based her statements on the NUS reports and surveys.

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