Johannesburg - Eskom's electricity tariff increases need to be carefully managed to minimise their impact on the South African economy, Business Unity SA (Busa) said on Monday.
"While Busa appreciates the need for tariffs to be cost reflective, the quantum and pace of tariff increases need to be carefully managed in order to forestall any negative impacts or shocks to the economy," CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni said.
Eskom applied to the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) on Friday for a 16% increase in electricity prices each year for the next five years.
This would take the price of electricity from 61 cents a kilowatt hour in 2012/13 to 128 cents a kWh in 2017/18 -- more than doubling it.
Busa welcomed the transparent manner in which Eskom communicated the details of its tariff increase, but said it would still look carefully at the request.
"In view of the previous concerns by business on the cumulative impact of administered prices, especially electricity, Busa will also be critically interrogating the structure and allocation of the tariff increase across the industrial, municipal, and household categories."
Majokweni said the tariff should "reflect a well-considered balance of economic performance, global competitiveness, and affordability for consumers".
The current Multi-Year Price Determination, MYPD2, ends on March 31, 2013. New tariffs will be implemented from April 2013.
Nersa will announce its final decision in February, following an extended period of consultation and public hearings.