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Nersa must consider economic growth, the poor

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Nersa must consider economic growth, the poor

by Luyanda Makapela
27 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has called on the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to consider a smooth transition into their proposed higher tariffs to ensure they do not impact negatively on the country's economy and the poor.

Busa committee member Professor Raymond Parsons said all relevant stakeholders wanted to have predictability and certainty regarding resolving the energy crisis.

"We should consider both demand and supply while ensuring that prices reflect electricity cost of supply," said Busa's Chairman of Standing Committee on Economic Policy, Roger Baxter.

Filing submissions before Nersa on Tuesday, Mr Baxter said Tuesday marked the 126th day since the country was plunged into an energy crisis.

He said he hoped all inputs made before Nersa in the decision making process would be of great benefit.

"We hope that Nersa would reinstall confidence and credibility in finding solutions on this matter," Mr Baxter said before the five-member Nersa panel.

"Nersa needs to help all those that are affected to smooth the process of escalating rates of electricity," said Human Science Research Council Executive Director, Miriam Atmant.

She also said her organisation wanted Nersa to consider economic growth and the impact the proposed price will have on poor households.

A 100 percent hike does not seem heavy for Eskom, but the pace is too rapid to be justified, said Ms Atmant.

Reiterating the decisions which were taken during the National Electricity Stakeholders Summit earlier this month, Nedlac Director Herbert Mkhize said price increases needed to exclude the demand side management funding component while pricing policy needed to be finalised urgently.

"Nersa should take into account the socio economic impact assessment of an increased energy price.

"Prices should not impact negatively on growth, employment, investment and poor households," said Mr Mkhize at the time. - BuaNews

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