Eskom – you must be joking!

Unionised Eskom workers downed tools at the end of June, and staff who were prepared to work were intimidated – Eskom has since reached an agreement with staff for a 7% wage increase and a R400 per month housing allowance increase. But the power utility said the deal would cost over a billion rand between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023. “This, of course, will be a struggle for Eskom to afford,” it warned, with City Press reporting that Eskom is asking Nersa to increase its revenue from R264.8bn to R350.1 billion. The company is clearly over a barrel; but the temerity in being expected to cough up even more when most of us haven’t even been able to make an evening meal for the last few weeks? This article was first published on MyBroadband. – Sandra Laurence

Eskom asks for massive 32.66% electricity price hike — report

By Jan Vermeulen

Eskom has asked the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for a 32.66% price hike, according to Sunday newspaper Rapport.

The report also stated that there was a secret meeting of the ANC’s parliamentary caucus on Tuesday regarding the country’s electricity crisis.

Four senior cabinet ministers reportedly said at the meeting that it would take roughly three months before Eskom could suspend load-shedding entirely.

However, the power utility should soon be able to limit rotational power cuts to stage 1 and stage 2.

Interestingly, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter reportedly told President Cyril Ramaphosa during a walking tour of Tutuka power station on Saturday that they might be able to suspend load-shedding by the end of the coming week.

South Africa was plunged into stage 6 load-shedding on 28 June 2022, with the state-owned power utility blaming its woes on an unprotected strike.

Unionised Eskom workers downed tools at the end of June, and executives revealed that staff who were showing up for work were being intimidated.

Executives disclosed three incidents where unnamed protestors allegedly slashed the tyres of a female manager’s car, set an Eskom vehicle on fire, and petrol-bombed another manager’s house.

Eskom has since reached an agreement with staff for a 7% wage increase and a R400 per month housing allowance increase.

The power utility said the deal would cost over a billion rand between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023.

“This, of course, will be a struggle for Eskom to afford,” it warned.

Earlier this year, Nersa rejected Eskom’s application for a 20.5% tariff increase and granted a much smaller 9.61% electricity price hike.

Eskom said at the time the hike was necessary to cover the cost of its debt, carbon taxes, and the higher price of electricity purchases from independent power producers compared to its own coal fleet.

Even with a 20.5% tariff hike, Eskom CFO Calib Cassim said Eskom would still need a government bailout of R21 billion over the next two financial years to help service its debt.

Rapport’s sister publication City Press reported that Eskom is asking Nersa to increase its revenue from R264.8 billion to R350.1 billion.

Although this includes a R15 billion repayment to Eskom as part of a court settlement, the power utility is reportedly still considering taking Nersa to court for rejecting last year’s 20.5% tariff increase.

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