25 January 2013

South Africa: Cosatu Urges All Citizens to Reject Eskom's 16 Percent Increase At Nersa Hearings

Photo: Saragoldsmith/Flickr
Power lines

COSATU Limpopo, representing more than 170 000 members in Limpopo will picket during NERSA’s public hearings on the 29th of January 2013 against ESKOM’s application for the implementation of 16% electricity tariff increase.

The application has since been approved by the municipality and we are going forth as planned

COSATU is opposing the application due to many reasons and the reason will be presented during the NERSA’s hearing. Some of those are:

We have argued before that a reliance on tariffs for Eskom’s capital expansion programme amounts to calling on “consumers to pay for capital expenditure for services they would enjoy later or services that they may not even be able to afford in future”.

Furthermore, the price of Eskom electricity is a cost to municipalities, which is in turn passed to consumers. The high electricity tariffs are likely to force the majority of poor people to revert to dangerous and dirty sources of energy.

Accordingly, we want to reiterate our views that the high electricity tariffs have, among others, the following negative impact on the economy:

Destroys and Forces low income consumers to substitute electricity with dirty energy

Huge arrears (as people fail to pay their bills), disconnections and illegal reconnections.

Reduction in the use of electric appliances with knock-on effect on the economy as the demand for electric appliances decline.

Steep electricity tariff will have a negative impact on the objectives contained in the beneficiation strategy, industrial policy action plan, new growth path and government’s infrastructure development programme

High electricity prices will result in job losses; push up prices of basic commodities, including food, and with inflation rate increasing the SARB will raise the repo rate and thus further pushing workers and the poor deeper into poverty.

We therefore urge and call for the unwavering support of our Affiliates, Alliance, Civil Society organizations, Churches, Community forums, NGO’s etc during the demonstration that will take place on the 29th of January 2013 at Jack Botes Hall, Polokwane from 07h30 to 13h30

For further information please contact, Cde. Dan Sebabi on 072 515 6699 or 082 779 2421 or Cde Essob Mokgonyana, Provincial Chairperson on 079 767 7556

Issued by: COSATU Limpopo

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