The proverbial axe is falling on ‘business as usual’ as every industry in South Africa, from mining to manufacturing to retail, is cringing at the thought of rising energy tariffs and the impending implementation of a carbon tax.
Stemming the tide of rising tariffs
On the receiving end of tariff hikes, industry is dealing with three significant elements, namely the cost of electricity, uncertainty around sufficient electricity supply and carbon emission management. According to Shaun Nel, Project Director & Advisor, Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG), “the current request by Eskom to raise electricity prices by 16% per annum over 5 years will have a significantly negative impact not only on mining and industrial customers but small business, commercial and residential users too. These electricity prices are making South African industries uncompetitive in the global environment. These prices will reduce investment and decrease profitability which has an impact on employment.”