Consumers Warned of Tough Times

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Regional Electricity Regulators Association (RERA) of Southern Africa says consumers should brace for harsh times as electricity tariff increases become inevitable in a region plagued by massive power deficits.

Executive secretary of RERA, Elijah Sichone, told New Era that projects envisaged to commission in 2010 onwards would cost power utilities in the region of billions of dollars.

This will make electricity an expensive commodity in a region where tariffs have virtually been low for years.

South Africa’s power utility Eskom recently proposed a 53 percent tariff hike while Namibia is likely to pass a 40 percent tariff increase in the next two to three years according to the Electricity Control Board (ECB).

Rehabilitation and associated infrastructure projects for Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) is estimated at US$1 billon.

Projects that will be commissioned by 2010 will cost US$3.9 billion while those in the long-term will approximately need capital of about US$41.5 billion.

Since 2005, the demand for electricity has grown from 40??????’??

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