Uncaring ANC government cripples South Africans with another 12,74% electricity price increase for 2024

Issued by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
23 Jan 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP

Despite clear evidence that South Africans are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the high cost of living, the ANC government – through the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, has gone ahead and authorised another double digit electricity price increase for 2024.

In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Gordhan has called for the tabling of a total average upward adjustment for the electricity retail tariff of 12.74% for the 2024/25 financial year.

This is over and above the 18.65% increase that consumers paid for the 2023/24 financial year. In just two years, consumers will see their electricity bills increase by 31% whilst also experiencing a corresponding increase in the number of hours that they spend in the dark due to loadshedding.

The DA is the only party that actively campaigned against the electricity price increase in 2023, culminating in a High Court case in which we argued that NERSA’s extortionate electricity price hike was a corruption tax to reward criminal syndicates operating with impunity at Eskom. It is simply unacceptable that the ANC expects consumers to shoulder the financial burden of high diesel usage and a bloated workforce at Eskom through high electricity tariffs.

This immoral price increase by the ANC government is forcing South Africans to choose between buying electricity or putting food on the table. If this trend of extortionate electricity price hikes continues, electricity will soon become a luxury that many will not be able to afford and will further force many to resort to unsafe sources of energy in order to meet their energy needs. Moreover, the country currently runs the risk of experiencing an exponential increase in energy poverty, where a considerable number of households are struggling to remain connected to the grid due to exorbitant electricity prices.

The Eskom monopoly, with all its inefficiencies and corruption, has become an albatross around the necks of consumers and the economy. Instead of opening up the market to the private sector and helping to lower electricity prices, the ANC government is dragging its feet on key and tangible reforms.

What is clear, is that for as long as the ANC remains in power, these extortionate electricity price increases will never stop. According to independent estimates, since load-shedding started in 2008, electricity increases have grown by 450% – an exponential increase that has far outpaced inflation during the same period. Should this trend continue, South Africa’s electricity prices may very well become the most expensive when compared to other countries in the region and in other emerging markets.

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