Electricity up 8.3% today
MBABANE – From today, electricity tariffs will increase by 8.3 per cent for consumers and 6.5 per cent for fixed charges (businesses including SMEs).
Attorney Mabandla Manzini, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA), promulgated the new tariffs in a press conference yesterday.
Manzini, flanked by Board member Chief Mkhumbi and acting Chief Executive Officer Sabelo Dube, said the increase was largely due to a steep rise in tariffs charged to it by Eskom.
The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) imports 80 per cent of electricity from Eskom – a company in South Africa.
He said the company had been left with no choice, but to pass on the costs to their customers.
He said, as the SERA Board, they had approved the 8.3 per cent increase based on the SEC tariff application and supplementary data provided including the application and submissions made during the public hearings. "An average increase of 8.3 per cent is approved for SEC for the 2012/13 financial year with effect from 1 June 2012," said the chairman. Manzini said a massive revenue requirement of E970 million (E970 106 835) was approved for SEC in the current year.
He said the E970m would include money to purchase electricity (both from Eskom and Mozambique), SEC operational expenses, adding that it had a component of a profit.
"Fixed charges on customer tariff categories are to be increased by inflation rate, at 6.5 per cent," he further stated.
SEC, as per the chairman, had filed an application for a 16 per cent tariff increase, but SERA only approved an 8.3 per cent hike. At the beginning of the year, SEC applied for a tariff increase of 25 per cent. This was after Eskom had proposed to hike the tariff by the same percentage.
However, the SA based company later reduced the tariffs to 16 per cent. Manzini blamed the delay in announcing the new tariffs on consultations with respective stakeholders.
Increase is shocking - consumers
MBABANE – Lawyer Bongani Mdluli, the Chairman of the Consumers Association, has described the E8.3 per cent increase in electricity tariffs as shocking.
Mdluli, in an interview last night, sternly warned consumers to brace themselves for tough times, saying they were caught unawares by the hike. He then called upon government ‘to join the party and ensure that electricity was now subsidised’ in an effort to reduce the burden on consumers.
The chairman said it was evident that commodities in shops would definitely increase as well as a result of the hike in electricity tariffs.
In as mch as d govt is in a crisis, y shuld we be made to bear all the costs of poor government planning, what is it dat we dont have dat can enable us to produce our own electricity? We hv a coal mine in Maloma, a coal belt running all the way to Mpaka. What is our government doing in terms of self sustainability? Swaziland shud be the richest country in the SADC region but we aint, y? The govt controls the bulk of our revenue, where z govt investing our cash? In their individual bank accounts, cz we dnt have national assets. All we capable of z raising taxes, prices, tariffs, whining, and using d police whn anyone complains, bt seriously z dz govt sustainable. Does t have a future? Somebody tell please. Politics is not my thing but financial issues matters i care about becoz i nid money to survive. Maybe we shud replace one ministry with an Investment and Self Sustainability ministry that will create a future 4 our country otherwise we wont be having another govt in the next few years coz living conditions will have changed for the worst, i rest my case i hop people read, especial those who can change things, and bring purpose on those aspiring members of parliament, we dont want development officers guys bt catalyst for change.
Jun 1, 2012, 5:53 AM, Mphikeleli (email@example.com)
Why is SEC so aggressive in profit-making yet they provide an essential service? They even have the nerve of saying they had to 'pass the costs to us,customers'! Where is the Goverment? Or they can't afford to touch their 'cash-cow'?
Jun 1, 2012, 5:53 AM, Ntokozo Simelane Sojhix (Sojhixsimz@gmail.com)
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