Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 24 October 2011 – In a move which will inevitably lead to a further increase in electricity tariffs, South African national power utility Eskom Holdings has indicated that it will pass the cost of the proposed carbon tax on to the consumer

Reporting this here, Business Report confirmed that the carbon tax price would be in addition to the annual electricity price hikes which have already been approved until 2013. Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said: “We cannot just absorb a carbon tax. We would have to pass it on.”

Joffe said Eskom supported the use of financial mechanisms to help reduce South Africa’s carbon emissions, and agreed that a carbon tax could be one such mechanism. “But we can’t take it on as a cost. It would be passed on to the consumer,” Joffe said.

The National Treasury said in Parliament this week that it intended introducing a carbon tax as part of the government’s plan to bring down the country’s high greenhouse gas emissions.

The purpose was to send a strong price signal to consumers and producers to change their behaviour, and move to lower carbon options.

South Africa has one of the highest per capita carbon emissions. However, some have questioned whether a carbon tax will be effective in reducing emissions.