Allegations of collusion amongst the suppliers of solar water geysers were made in Parliament on Tuesday by an official of the Energy Department.
Deputy Director-General of nuclear and clean energy Ompie Aphane told the national council of provinces’ select committee on economic development that the suspicion of collusion arose because the local capital cost of the solar geysers was far higher than the imported price inclusive of duties. Also, the prices of systems escalated sharply by about 40% shortly after Eskom introduced its rebate. “There is something that is not adding up,” Mr Aphane said.
Also, the fact that there was a restricted group of accredited suppliers dampened competition. He noted that by the end of this financial year only 55 000 solar water geysers would have been installed nationwide since the programme was launched- far off the one million target for 2013 and the 5 to 7 million target by 2019.
The almost doubling of electricity tariffs over the next few years was expected to accelerate the demand for solar water systems.
Source: Business Day