Neighbourly Notes – 03 March 2022

THE cost of electricity is going to go up again, as we expected it would. Eskom always asks for a ridiculous increase so we are more inclined to be relieved by the final figure approved by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), even though it still hurts us. The Eskom tariff increase will be 9.61%. It had originally asked for 20.5%. When the South African Local Government Association (Salga) “reluctantly welcomed” the announcement by Nersa on Eskom’s fifth Multi-Year Pricing Determination (MYPD5), it revealed a figure many of us probably haven’t thought of: The price of electricity has risen by 307% over the past 13 years, far exceeding inflation. This is in spite of an unreliable electricity supply. One never thinks of Salga as fighting on behalf of the public – as opposed to awarding salary increases to councillors every year – but during Nersa’s public hearing, Salga’s submission was that the levels of tariff increases proposed by Eskom are unrealistic and unsustainable and go against economic and social issues affecting the South African economy. Municipalities are already confronted with the challenges of a high level nonpayment for services, with businesses, government and households collectively owing over R300bn. The Eskom tariff increase will be in effect on April 1 for Eskom customers including municipalities, and on July 1 for municipal customers.

OUR heartiest congratulations to everyone celebrating a birthday in the week ahead. Best wishes for many more especially to Carole Christie, Peter Francis, Gwen Venters, Ruleen de Witt, Sue Neame, Sanelle Fourie, Jimmy Neave, Dawn Frederichs, Trenton Webster, Linda Clur, Blake Brent, Kathy Clayton, Kaine Heny, Dean Morrissey, Richard McGhie, Yolande Stander, Leonore Schafer, Colleen Shaw, Ella de Wet Steyn, Christen Booth, Darryl Hanstein, Angela Welsh, Kathy Mansfield, Bev Monaghan, Amelia Hanstein, Maureen Edlmann, Ivor Gray, Maureen Walker, Gisella Brickhill and Margaret Proctor.

BUSINESS anniversary congratulations with wishes for continued success to the following firms – Pam Golding Properties Port Alfred, Total Sports, Miladys, Standerwick Nursery, Nature’s View Farm Stall (on the way to Fish River).

THOUGH the Russian invasion of Ukraine had an early impact on the rand, which slid in value, the sharper effect is being felt in the oil price, and probably will be for months to come. With last year’s figures shown in brackets for comparison, at the time of going to print, the Rand was trading at R15.44 to the Dollar (R14.94), R20.55 to the Pound (R20.92) and R17.13 to the Euro (R18.11). Gold is trading at $1,939.20 per fine ounce ($1,727.27), platinum at $1,064.00 per ounce ($1,193.00) with Brent Crude Oil at $109.68 per barrel ($64.42).

SINCERE condolences to the Keeton family on the passing of Vic. We especially think of his wife Nettie, his children Difford and Helen and their families in this very sad time.

BEST wishes, congratulations and continued happiness to all couples celebrating a wedding anniversary especially Kevin and Karen Kelly and Kevin and Marlene Brown.

THOUGHT for the week: “First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.”

BEST regards as always,
The Team

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