Poor turnout for public meeting on power hikes

A poor turnout did not deter members of the mayoral committee from explaining the proposed electricity tariff increases at a public participation meeting in the Port Elizabeth City Hall last night.

Fewer than 30 people attended the meeting led by mayoral committee member Retief Odendaal.

“I am certainly not happy with the turnout, but we are obliged to have these meetings to keep our residents informed,” he said.

Odendaal was accompanied by mayoral committee members Andrew Whitfield and Rano Kayser.

Odendaal explained the proposed electricity tariff changes that were agreed upon following a drawn-out negotiation process with the metro’s high-energy users. He said a lower increase in rates was meant to soften the blow of the electricity price hike for ratepayers.

According to calculations put forward by Odendaal, residents are looking at a 3.8% hike in their electricity bills, while rates will increase by 4.8% rather than the initially proposed 9.5%.

High-energy users, on the other hand, could save money on their electricity bills if they limit their usage during peak hours.

The proposed tariff increases still need to be voted on in council and approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

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