PRESS RELEASE

26/03/15 

For immediate release

Statement by Mayor James Nxumalo

EThekwini Mayor concerned about consequences of the proposed hefty electricity tariff increase 

The Municipality has noted submissions by Eskom for a further review of electricity tariffs increases, which is in addition to the 14.25% that has already been granted by energy regulator NERSA. It has been reported that if the request could be granted it would push the total electricity increases up to 25.3%. 

As eThekwini Municipality, we do not support the proposed additional increase as it could have far reaching consequences and would negate our efforts to fast-track development and service delivery. We believe that the proposal could:

• Leave the poorest of the poor worse-off,

• Have negative consequences in our effort to attract investments to our city,

• Lead to an increase in the theft of electricity, since it would become a very expensive commodity which could be out of reach for the poor.

We believe the increase could negate our efforts to ensure universal supply of power to all residents, including people living in informal settlements.

While we understand the situation that is currently faced by Eskom and we are working together with the utility to maintain the power grid, we however do not believe that such a hefty increase would be the correct solution. As part of organised local government we will work together with the South African Local Government Association (Salga) to address the matter through appropriate intergovernmental platforms.

As the Municipality we are participating in efforts to mitigate the effects of the energy shortage, and as such we have organised a round table discussion with stakeholders, including business, to come up with joint strategies on how to effectively deal with the energy challenges that we are facing. This is part of the business continuity strategy that was recently adopted by Council to ensure that load-shedding does not have adverse effects on business operations and our ability to deliver services to residents. The round table discussions will be held at Moses Mabhida stadium on Friday, 27/03/2015.

Ends

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Ms Tozi Mthethwa

For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 / 082 731 7456 or email Thabo1.Mofokeng@durban.gov.za, or Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or 079 751 4986 email: Gugu.Mbonambi@durban.gov.za