Further Eskom Hikes Denied but Two Week Blackout Possible

Are you ready to pay another 12.09% more for your SA electricity bill this year as a result of Eskom mismanagement? You don’t have to be. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA) chairperson Thembani Buluka has officially denied Eskom’s request to further increase our electricity bills by 12.09% in 2015 this Tuesday.

Eskom received the first 12.69% and in a fit of desperation, went for the kill with the second increase in 2015: 9.58% for better maintenance times with lesser load shedding and for their energy projects, as well as 2.51% for environmental levies.

Consumers may however need to budget for the extra 12.9% in 2016, which should wipe the smile of our faces when receiving raise letters as it will make a significant dent to our budgets.

Expressing further dissatisfaction however with Eskom and the way South Africa is run won’t help us even though venting temporarily helps. The situation is out of our control.

Political parties like the DA can make scathing statements like asking Eskom to stop holding SA hostage, gathering more votes in the process, but a strike or change of government cannot instantly solve our energy crises.

According to energy analyst Ted Blom, SA has a 50% chance of reaching a blackout that could last for one or two weeks influenced by Eskom’s lack of resources, including coal, water and maintenance.

Years of energy mismanagement has bunched up and hit the fan and in the wise words of Leon Schuster you should “Go down!”… into your budget of course to make necessary considerations. There is no better time than the present to look at our spread sheets and make the painful changes that need to occur.

Political activists and unions cannot keep you warm in winter, feed your children or provide for any sense of entitlement we may have as a result of residing in our country as its citizens. Increasing our agency as free willed individuals is one of the few constant variables we have remaining in the face of adversity.

What we do know is that South Africa does have a booming private sector where creativity, planning and entrepreneurship can result in significant benefits. Even though more and more of our tax may be sunken into free housing and redevelopment programmes that we may or may not agree upon, we have to eat, don’t we? And perhaps we have to afford solar or other forms of energy solutions that can take us through two weeks of complete blackout.