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Electricity prices to rise 9.4% this year, 8.1% next

The price of electricity will rise by 9.41%, double the inflation rate of 4.5%.
The price of electricity will rise by 9.41%, double the inflation rate of 4.5%.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) on Thursday announced South Africans will pay 9.41% more for electricity in 2019/20.

Eskom had applied for hikes of 17.1% for 2019/20, 15.4% for 2020/21 and 15.5% for 2021/22.

The announcement, by Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise, was scheduled to be made at 1pm but was delayed by nearly two hours.

Nersa approved increases of 8.1% for 2020/21 and 5.22% for 2021/22.

BusinessLIVE reported that industry had argued strongly for the regulator to reject Eskom's application for a 17.1% rise. According to the Minerals Council, if Eskom succeeded, 40% of mining, refining and smelting companies would be lost; annual gold mining output would fall from 132 tons to 20 tons; and 150,000 direct jobs could be shed across mining, smelting and refining.

Eskom on Thursday issued its now regular statement that "there is a high risk of rotational load-shedding today, but will only be implemented if absolutely necessary". The utility said while it did not cut power on Wednesday, "the system is still tight and vulnerable".

In February, Eskom moved to stage four loadshedding for the first time, prompting dismay from everyone including the government. A technical review team has since been appointed to look at the operations, maintenance and technical environment at the utility's power stations.

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