City Power: Extortion by the Meter

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    The Great Electricity Heist: How City Power, Eskom, and Nersa are Screwing South Africans

    In a brazen display of incompetence and greed, City Power, Eskom, and Nersa have joined forces to plunge South Africa into a dark age of financial desperation. The latest salvo in this war on the wallets of the people is the stealthy introduction of load reduction – a euphemism for load shedding.

    As temperatures drop and people huddle together for warmth, City Power sees fit to punish them with a R200 "service fee" for a service that’s not even being delivered consistently. And to add insult to injury, this fee hike was announced with just one week’s notice, as if the utility company is rubbing its hands together in glee at the prospect of raking in an extra R50 million from its 250,000 prepaid customers each month.

    But wait, it gets even better. This fee hike was approved by Nersa, the energy regulator, as part of a 12.7% tariff increase. And if that’s not enough, Eskom is seeking an additional 36% tariff increase for 2025. That’s a whopping 43.5% hike in electricity costs, all while households are struggling to make ends meet in the face of persistently high inflation and interest rates.

    It’s a meteoric hike that will leave many South Africans wondering how they’ll be able to keep the lights on, let alone their homes warm. And it’s not just the cost of electricity that’s the problem – it’s the sheer incompetence of the entities responsible for providing this essential service.

    As Alumo Energy’s calculations demonstrate, homeowners could see their electricity bills skyrocket by as much as 60% this winter, thanks to higher winter tariffs, the proposed Eskom electricity tariff hikes, and the sharp rise in energy usage during the chilly months. It’s a recipe for disaster, and one that will only exacerbate the already dire cost-of-living crisis facing South Africans.

    So, what’s the solution? It’s time for accountability. It’s time for City Power, Eskom, and Nersa to be held to task for their failures. It’s time for the people to demand better, and for the government to take action to ensure that the energy sector is run in the interests of the people, not just the profiteers.

    Read next: "Hi Joulene": Joburg’s City Power launches AI chatbot

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