Thabazimbi Tariff hike a real shocker

THABAZIMBI – The latest tariff accounts have caused shock, anger and general confusion reports the Thabazimbi Business Chamber who made their first request for clarity on this issue last week Tuesday. A telephonic conversation with the acting Municipal Manager early this week still did not provide for the needed clarity, but a face-to-face meeting was promised later.
The Thabazimbi Business Chamber is of the opinion that an incorrect Industrial Bulk Service High Season charge was applied to all business accounts, leading to the astronomical increase in electricity charges.
However, the municipality is of the opinion that they are allowed to charge a high season tariff as they are charged a higher rate by Eskom during the months of June, July and August.
The Thabazimbi Business Chamber does not see any such charges published in the official reference document, the TLM Tariff Book. In fact, the tariff book states that: “The proposed tariff increase of 12.69% can be implemented whilst NERSA is considering our application.” The second attachment is the NERSA approval letter. Once again, no reference to the ‘high season’ tariff for businesses, except under ‘Industrial’.
The chamber suggests the following to business owners:
Check the documents supplied to chamber members and confirm your classification; – are you commercial or industrial (check the basic charge on your account as a point of reference)
Check that your basic charge and tariff is indeed in the same classification (use an older account to verify)
Apply the tariff to the reading on the account and re-work the VAT to get to the ‘approved tariff’ amount.
Lodge a dispute on the current tariff, but pay the amount as per the published / approved tariff.
Feedback following the meeting with the Business Chamber, the MM of TLM, Cornelius Booysen, indicated that the Thabazimbi Local Municipality will not disconnect electricity supply to all properties on which a tariff of 229.00 c/kwh was applied until the matter pertaining to this tariff is resolved. He committed to resolve this matter within the next 7 days.
The DA’s Desiree van der Walt, MP, indicated that the whole issue of what was happening at the Thabazimbi Local Municipality will be taken up with Minister Pravin Gordhan during this week and that a media release will be issued as soon as possible.