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Centlec warns against power tariff misinformation

Staff Reporter

Centlec is advising Mangaung Metro residents not to make unfounded comparisons on its electricity tariffs and those in Mossel Bay Local Municipality because the two municipalities are in different categories.

Centlec spokesperson Lele Mamatu said a social media post comparing the two was not based on fact but aimed at misleading Mangaung residents into believing they were paying unjustified tariffs following the recent 14.59 percent increase.

In a Facebook post, a user took pictures of electricity tokens bought in Mangaung and Mossel Bay worth R1 000 each.

In Mangaung, the buyer got 297 units while the Mossel Bay purchase got 504 units of electricity.

“As the electricity distributor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Centlec found the comparison to be unfair and unjustified . . .” said Mamatu in a statement.

He said Mangaung fell in the category of a larger municipality or metropolitan while Mossel Bay was a much smaller local municipality.

“Firstly, (the) municipalities fall under two different categories as determined by the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, with Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality in Category A and Mossel Bay Local Municipality in Category B.

“It is therefore unclear why Mossel Bay was specifically chosen over other metros of almost similar status to Mangaung,” he pointed out.

Mamatu said the latest tariff increases which came into effect last month were approved by the National Regulatory body (NERSA).

He said NERSA is responsible for, among other things, determining on an annual basis an appropriate tariff guideline increase which is then communicated to municipal distributors as a guide in determining their electricity tariffs.

NERSA also reviews tariff benchmarks and recommends the new benchmarks that must be used in the evaluation of municipal tariff applications.

“What Centlec is currently implementing in terms of the electricity tariffs is what has been approved by NERSA . . .

“We are appealing to members of the community to refrain from circulating incorrect information on any (social) media platforms as this can create unnecessary confusion and chaos as . . . witnessed lately in our country,” said Mamatu.

The latest increases for electricity have been roundly criticised by residents as they come amid a difficult economic period which has seen thousands losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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