Two weeks ago, amongst great fanfare government announced that the electricity price increase would be "only" 16% instead of 25%.
However, this isn't the full story.
In the Budget, the electricity levy, which is meant to pay for renewable energy was increased from 2c/kWH to 3c/kWH. And, in a few months time, companies will be slapped with a R120/ton carbon tax. This equates to an additional levy of 12c/kWH - and it will increase by 10 percent annually.
A company paying R1.02/kWH will be paying R1.31/kWH - a 28 percent increase. This wouldn't be so bad if government and the City of Cape Town deregulated our electricity supply and allowed private people to supply the grid with electricity. However, central and local government are doing their utmost to prevent this.
Electricity is seen as a cash cow.
First prize would be to allow private people and businesses to produce as much electricity as possible, as this would allow SA's GDP to increase to the same extent as the other Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) countries. Their GDP's are increasing at around 10 percent annually.
A R300 billion real increase in GDP each year in SA would be much more than the few billion government gets from electricity sales, and it would be spread among all South Africans.
Not only this, but as the country's GDP increases, the need for more base load power will increase, as will the actual amount of electricity sold.