It seems that both Nersa and Eskom ruffled some feathers following that 19% electricity tariff hike announced last week. The feathers in question belong to the Democratic Alliance, which has asked South Africa’s High Court to stop Nersa from allowing the proposed increase. It’s pursuing a case on the grounds that it will make power too expensive for most South Africans.
“The DA rejects this astronomical increase,” the party said.
Astronomical is right – the increase that’s coming into effect this April is the largest the country has seen in over a decade.
Demanding a change
When the opposition party first made the country aware of its decision to sue Eskom, it sent a demand letter – seen by Bloomberg – pledging a lawsuit against Eskom if both Andre De Ruyter and Pravin Gordhan failed to stop load shedding or at least provide a timetable to do so. Included in the letter was a demand to reverse the 19% in the coming three days – with the final due date being today; 20 January.
You’ve probably guessed that neither load shedding nor the 19% tariff increase has been stopped. The letter went on to say that Eskom will face legal action and the party will seek relief for the damages caused by load shedding to the country by 23 January.
“The South African economy is predicted to show a radical decline,” the letter said. “[We demand] that the state will commit to compensate everyone who has suffered quantifiable financial losses because of load shedding.”
Basically, this boils down to the DA not liking Nersa’s decision, But not liking something doesn’t mean that it will or even can change it. But maybe the High Court will see that a little differently. We’ll have to wait and see.