This will have huge effect on Eswatini consumers – EEC
The looming electricity hike in South Africa will definitely have a huge effect on consumers in the country. Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager Sifiso Dhlamini yesterday highlighted that with the increase in tariffs having been granted by the South African regulator, it is inevitable that the price of electricity would also increase in the country. He said such effects are unavoidable just like when the price of fuel is increased by OPEC, consumers are forced to feel the brunt in all countries. OPEC is an abbreviation for Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is a union of oil producing countries that regulate the amount of oil each country is able to produce.
“With such news, as EEC we’ll be forced to review the local tariffs. We’d have to engage the regulator (Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority) to see how we can effect a review just as we have done in the past. The increase is unavoidable because we buy most of our electricity from Eskom,” he stated.
Meanwhile, EEC is fresh from effecting a 15 per cent electricity tariff hike on April 1 this year. The electricity hike was effectively agreed to last year in February when EEC was granted its wish of a multiyear average increase of 15 per cent. This meant that EEC did not need to go back to the Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (SERA) for an application on another tariff increase, but simply had to effect the agreed tariff hike last year. Government also made an attempt to introduce a value added tax (VAT) on electricity, which would have meant an additional 14 per cent. The introduction of the VAT on electricity tariff was stopped by Parliament, during the debate of the national budget. It is worth pointing out that had that been on the cards, this would have meant that users would have been looking at something closer to 30 per cent increase on electricity.