DA goes to court to fight NERSA tariff hike

Issued by Helen Zille – Chairperson of the DA Federal Council
11 Sep 2023 in News

Please see pictures here, here and here.

Download the Heads of Argument here and here.

One of the most pressing issues affecting every South African today is the ongoing crisis of load-shedding and an electricity tariff increase that is six times higher than the rate of inflation.

The National Electricity Regulator of SA has granted Eskom an astonishing 31.4% electricity tariff hike over the next two years. This means that South Africans are forced to pay much more for electricity at a time when millions are unemployed as a result of load-shedding.

The DA refuses to accept this situation.

The ANC government caused this problem by its failure to take expert advice, plan, or take action to meet the country’s electricity needs, compounded by extreme corruption and administrative failure. This has violated most of the provisions in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

We seek a declaration from the court confirming that this failure is due to government and state failure, which failed to take responsibility for defending constitutional rights. This failure is inconsistent with the Constitution.

Once such a court declaration has been made, we seek the appointment of a Special Master to oversee, regulate, monitor, and report to the Court on the government’s progress in implementing the Energy Action Plan that is supposed to deal with the crisis and related issues.

This independent Special Master must have the necessary expertise to evaluate the situation, monitor and report accurately, enabling South Africans to know what is going on, and what they can expect, and plan accordingly.

The second, and more important part of our application, is to require NERSA to re-evaluate the tariff increase, and ensure that public participation is undertaken to provide crucial data on the impact of the proposed tariff increase.

The DA’s court papers argue that NERSA misinterpreted Section 15 (1) (e) of the Electricity Regulation Act, and did not take public participation into account at when the Multi-Year Price Determination was undertaken.

We therefore seek to have the MYPD decision declared invalid, and suspended, giving NERSA six months to remedy the situation.

The ongoing electricity crisis is wreaking havoc on our economy, with stage 6 load-shedding alone costing our nation a staggering R900 million daily.

This dire situation cannot be allowed to continue.We extend an invitation to all South Africans to join our mission to protect our fellow citizens from skyrocketing electricity prices. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that the ANC’s failures no longer burden the people of South Africa.