Moneyweb has just learnt that the North Gauteng High Court has set aside the national energy regulator (Nersa) announced on March 1 this year to grant Eskom an interim tariff increase.
This decision resulted in a 9.4% tariff increase that took effect on April 1 for Eskom direct customers and was passed on to municipal customers from July 1.
Had the interim increase not been granted, the tariffs would have risen by 3.5%.
The court has remitted the decision to Nersa.
The court also ordered Eskom and Nersa to pay the legal costs of the applicants. They comprised of a group of businesses from the Eastern Cape, including Borbet SA, the PG Group, Crown Chickens, Agni Steel SA, and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.
It was not immediately clear what the effect on consumers would be as the legal teams were still studying the 63-page ruling.
Moneyweb earlier reported that advocate David Unterhalter SC, acting for the applicants, told Judge Cynthia Pretorius that neither Eskom nor Nersa complied with the prescribed methodology for interim tariff increases. Nersa earlier adopted this methodology after public consultation.
In a statement, the Chamber said: “In its relentless efforts to reduce electricity pricing for businesses in the city, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber together with local energy intensive industrial companies secured a massive win for electricity users in South Africa.
“We are very satisfied with the outcome of the judgment as this is a massive win not only for businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay, but for all electricity consumers in the country. The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber will continue to champion the interests of its members in particular and commerce and industry in general,” Nelson Mandela Bay business chamber deputy president and electricity task team chamber board lead MC Botha Botha said.