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New Public Holiday Announced for South African Citizens in May 2024

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New Public Holiday Announced for South African Citizens in May 2024

New Public Holiday Announced for South African Citizens in May 2024.South African citizens will rejoice as a new public holiday is slated for May 2024, as confirmed by the presidency earlier this week.

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New Public Holiday Announced for South African

Wednesday, 29 May 2024, has been officially designated as a public holiday across the Republic of South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa invoked his authority under Section 49(2) of the Constitution, in conjunction with Section 17 of the Electoral Act (Act No 73 of 1998), to declare this holiday.

Consultation and Proclamation

The decision to declare the holiday on the day of the general national and provincial elections came after extensive consultations with the Independent Electoral Commission. The proclamation of the election date was made public through the Government Gazette issued on Friday, 23 February 2024. Additionally, in accordance with Section 2A of the Public Holidays Act (Act No 36 of 1994), President Ramaphosa proclaimed 29 May 2024 as a public holiday throughout the Republic.

Significance and Implications

This announcement marks a significant milestone in the electoral process, providing citizens with a clear timeline for the upcoming elections. It ensures that citizens are well-informed and prepared for their civic duty and right to vote.

Conclusion

The 2024 General Elections scheduled for Wednesday, 29 May 2024, will be South Africa’s seventh since the end of apartheid in 1994. These elections will determine the composition of the National Assembly and each provincial legislature, with the new National Council of Provinces elected at the first sitting of each provincial legislature. President Ramaphosa’s decision to set the election date within the 90-day window following the conclusion of the current Parliament’s term demonstrates a commitment to democratic processes and civic engagement.

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Electricity Prices Soar In April

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Electricity Prices Soar In April

Electricity Prices Soar In April. The price of electricity in South Africa is set to increase yet again, leaving many consumers concerned about the impact on their budgets. Despite a recent tariff adjustment, experts warn that prices could soar even higher in the near future.

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Recent Tariff Increase

Eskom, the country’s primary power utility, has implemented a new tariff structure approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) in December 2023. The latest increases, ranging from 12.72% to 12.74%, depending on the customer category, came into effect on 1 April 2024.

  • Eskom Direct Customers: Customers who purchase electricity directly from Eskom will face a 12.74% increase on most charges.
  • Municipal Customers: Residents receiving electricity bills from municipalities will see an average increase of 12.72%, starting in July 2024.
  • Homelight 20A Tariff: Low-income households under this tariff will also experience a 12.74% increase. To mitigate the impact on these households, the affordability subsidy charge will rise by 25.24%, with the additional cost being spread out among non-municipal large industrial and urban customers.

Criticism and Financial Impact

Despite NERSA approval, critics, such as the Democratic Alliance (DA), argue that the continuous tariff hikes are placing undue strain on South Africans. They point out that the 405% cumulative increase in electricity tariffs over the past 14 years is making it increasingly difficult for households to afford basic necessities.

Energy expert Vally Padayachee echoed these concerns, warning that the current tariff increases might not be sufficient to cover Eskom costs. He highlighted Eskom’s financial challenges, noting that while the 12% increment is substantial, it falls short of the utility’s actual cost bases.

Future Outlook

While no major changes were made to the tariff structure this year, Eskom has hinted at possible revisions for the 2025/26 financial year. This uncertainty has left South Africans anxious about the possibility of further price hikes in the future.

Conclusion

As consumers brace themselves for higher electricity bills, the ongoing financial struggles of Eskom raise questions about the sustainability of current tariff levels. The looming possibility of additional increases underscores the need for long-term solutions to ensure affordable and reliable electricity for all South Africans.

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