Eskom buggers property

Eskom's 31.3 percent electricity tariff increase will have a negative effect on the commercial property industry, the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa) said on Thursday.

"The huge increase will definitely have an effect on the property industry in an economy where vacancy rates are now higher, arrears are not uncommon and many retailers are closing down," said Douw de Kock, chairman of Sapoa's energy efficiency task team.

He said an increase above 30 percent would lead to an additional cost of around R5 per square metre, which would substantially impact on the affordability of renting for tenants.

Sapoa — which represents commercial and industrial property in South Africa — said it was also concerned about Eskom's lack of transparency leading up to the announcement of the increase as well as the fact that the increase was approved without sufficient information given by Eskom.

"This needs to be improved for all future increases," said de Kock.

The association said it would like to see Eskom applying best practice and transparency to show its commitment to better supporting the commercial and industrial property sectors.

In return, Sapoa would help Eskom by educating members about energy saving and reduced consumption.

"We aim to create sustainable property environments that consume less energy and therefore not only reduce the carbon emissions, but also reduce the expense associated with high energy consumption," said Sapoa CEO Neil Gopal.

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