Bloomberg News

South Africa to Review Increasing Power Fees Above Guideline

June 08, 2011

(Updates with additional towns in last paragraph.)

June 8 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s energy regulator will hold public hearings tomorrow on proposals by cities and towns including Johannesburg and Pretoria to increase electricity tariffs beyond the watchdog’s 20.38 percent guideline.

Nineteen municipalities propose gains above the guideline for 2011-12, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa said on its website today. Maluti-A-Phofung proposed the highest increase of 29 percent, according to the statement.

Officials at the regulator weren’t immediately available to comment on the guideline when Bloomberg News called its Pretoria office today, and didn’t respond to e-mailed questions.

State-run Eskom Holdings Ltd., supplier of most electricity redistributed by municipalities to customers, is raising prices to fund expansion and prevent a repeat of 2008 power cuts. The regulator allowed Eskom to raise tariffs 26 percent this year.

Johannesburg’s City Power sought a 22 percent jump in 2011- 12 prices, citing “Eskom’s structural changes” and “high primary energy costs” at a power plant. Pretoria’s Kungwini and Nokeng tsa Taemane areas also asked for 22 percent, citing the cost of “merger management.” Others seeking increases in excess of the regulator’s guideline include Umhlathuze.

--Editors: Tony Barrett, Dan Weeks

To contact the reporter on this story: Carli Lourens in Johannesburg at clourens@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amanda Jordan at ajordan11@bloomberg.net.


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