JOHANNESBURG, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) said Thursday that it has approved increases of 9.41 percent, 8.1 percent and 5.22 percent in electricity prices in the next three years.
NERSA granted power utility Eskom the increases for the 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 financial years, with the first increase commencing on April 1.
The decision to grant the hikes came after the state-owned power utility application for increases of between 15 percent and 17 percent for the next three years.
Last month, the energy regulator held public hearings on Eskom's tariff increases and received responses from such sectors as business, government and labor.
NERSA Chairperson Jacob Modise said the indebted power utility must cut costs, deal with problems at its power stations and reduce power outages.
Reactions following the hikes have been negative.
The Mineral Resources Council of South Africa warned that the tariff increases might threaten thousands of jobs in the gold mining sector.
Prof. Jannie Rossouw of Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences said businesses' production costs will increase and that Eskom should take measures to cut cost.
"(Eskom needs) to urgently lower or cut its cost because the increase is below what they asked for," Rossouw said. "They will also need to stop giving bonuses to their executives for ever."