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AfriBusiness will intervene if Eskom approaches the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to increase electricity tariffs yet again. Eskom and municipalities recently hiked up electricity prices to exorbitant rates and now Eskom is seeking a further 20% tariff increase.
‘South Africa is currently in a technical recession. Consumers, and especially the retail market, bear the brunt of the poor implementation of economic policies and the widespread corruption throughout some state sectors. To expect citizens to keep using less power, but to pay more per unit, is preposterous. Eskom should rather withdraw from neighbouring Zimbabwe and invest all of its resources in South Africa,’ says Charles Castle, Manager of the AfriBusiness Labour Law Advice Unit.
Eskom is currently faced by allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration and should be held accountable. The citizens of this country cannot be held liable for management’s blunders and ill-conceived ‘Zupta’-dealings.
‘AfriBusiness recently requested information in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (No 2 of 2000) (PAIA) pertaining to Tegeta’s acquisition of the Optimum coal mine from Glencore. No information has been provided by Eskom, necessitating AfriBusiness to pursue a court application. This could relate directly to the tariff increase as Eskom is attempting to keep certain information clandestine about coal procurement and payments towards coal producers,’ says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.
More tariff hikes will result in more job losses. The economy is already strained and the unemployment rate is more than 27%. By pursuing increases in electricity costs, Eskom will cause more economic harm to the poorest of the poor.
The public can support the efforts of the business rights watchdog AfriBusiness by sending an SMS with the word ‘Eskom’ to 42310 (R1 per SMS).