Johannesburg - The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) must reject Eskom's request for an electricity price increase of more than 50% over the next five years, the DA and Cope said on Monday.
"By rejecting Eskom's ludicrous 16% a year increase, Nersa will be sparing millions of South African households...," Congress of the People spokesperson Beryl Ferguson said in a statement.
Eskom applied to 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 61c a kilowatt hour in 2012/13 to 128c a kWh in 2017/18 -- more than doubling it.
"The masses of South Africa's poorest population are currently struggling to afford the current 61c per kWh; and would find it even more difficult to afford 128c per kWh," said Ferguson.
Democratic Alliance MP David Ross objected to the price increases, and said they were more than triple the current inflation rate.
"I will meet with the regulator, Thembani Bukula, this week to urge Nersa not to accept Eskom's proposals," Ross said in a statement.
"We will continue our calls for an alternative pricing model in which consumers and businesses are not made to pay for inefficient capital expenditure programmes by a monopolistic state-owned energy provider."
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.
"The next four months will critical in convincing Nersa not to allow the power utility to dictate terms for the increment in electricity tariffs, which are way above the cost of living indexes," Ferguson said.