Home News S.African utility tempers energy price hike

S.African utility tempers energy price hike

Published on 09/03/2012

The South African power company Eskom on Friday slashed a future hike in electricity prices to boost the economy and job growth, a signal of healthier finances at the state-owned firm.

Eskom asked for a 16 percent increase from April, down from a 25.9 percent hike already approved in a turn-around for the utility which suffered massive black-outs three years ago.

“The reductions will have immediate benefits for businesses and households, and followed a request from President (Jacob) Zuma that Eskom investigate ways to reduce price increases over the next few years, in support of economic growth and job creation,” Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said.

The concessions mark “a huge investment in the economy,” Gigaba added.

South Africa has embarked on a multi-billion-dollar building spree to establish new power plants that would double electricity supplies over the next 20 years.

A new push toward green and nuclear power is also underway to augment generation that now relies heavily on coal-fired power stations.

Those facilities have battled to cope with increasing demand over the past few years, causing rolling blackouts across South Africa in January 2008.