Businesses and large electricity users can no longer afford to pay up to 18% more for electricity to subsidise Eskom’s poor residential customers, according to the Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG).

The obligation to provide a social package is on government, not business, and it should be done from the fiscus, says the lobby group. The EIUG represents mines, large factories and foundries. Its members collectively use 40% of the country’s electricity supply.

Energy regulator Nersa recently granted Eskom annual tariff increases of 9.41%, 8.1% and 5.22% for the next three years. The first increase will kick in on April 1 for Eskom’s direct clients, who will pay on average almost 14% more for electricity from that date, due to an additional 4.4% increase granted to Eskom earlier in terms of the Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) mechanism. 

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