Cape Town stadium electricity bill shocker

Aluminium smelters use large amounts of very cheap electricity but the public is also footing the bill for the cheap electricity on offer to the World Cup stadiums.

Sowetan is in possession of the Cape Town World Cup stadium's electricity bill, showing that the stadium owes R2,835million for the past nine months.

As a "large power user", the stadium pays only 30,3 cents per kilowatt an hour for at least half the electricity it uses. Households using pre-paid electricity are charged 77,37c per kilowatt an hour - more than double what the stadium is charged.

The City of Cape Town says the stadium took 33 months to build at a total cost of R4,4billion. But the city's 2010 spokesperson, Pieter Cronjé, says this figure does not include the electricity bill that averages R500000 per month.

Eddie Cottle, spokesperson for the Campaign for Decent Work Towards and Beyond 2010, says the city has understated the cost of the stadium by at least R16,5million - the total amount of electricity used over 33 months.

"The cheap electricity rate also means that the public is picking up the cost of the stadium's bill," Cottle said.

Cronje denied this, saying that the final electricity bill was a normal part of the "operating costs" of the stadium, and did not have to be included in the final figure.

The Democratic Alliance last week revealed Eskom's secret list of low price electricity users.

DA leader Helen Zille said it was a "scandal" that Eskom was secretly giving mining company BHP Billiton a below-cost discount for electricity at a time when consumers were expected to fork out for the 25percent electricity price hike.