Electricity prices in South Africa have dramatically outpaced inflation over the past decade (ever since the 2008 electricity supply shortage crisis). Recently, Eskom has won a court case allowing it to recover historical ‘losses’ or under-recoveries (the so-called regulatory clearing account or RCA).
Please note: we have published an update to this article in 2019 with more recent Eskom price increase data. Please see the article here.
After a brief respite in 2017 (when an increase of only 2.2% was granted by NERSA, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa), Eskom has submitted an application to NERSA for a 19.9% electricity tariff increase in 2018, and might still add additional RCA applications.
We have previously (in 2015) compared Eskom’s electricity price increases to inflation over the period 1988 to 2015, and have decided to update this comparison.
Below is the Eskom tariffs from 1988 to 2017, plotted against CPI (Consumer Price Index) or inflation over the same period. The dotted lines are projections over the next 3 years, based on Eskom’s 19.9% application for 2018, and further increases of 8% in each of 2019 and 2020 (this could be much higher if further RCA recoveries are granted).