Civil rights organisation AfriForum has blasted Eskom’s proposal to hike its electricity tariff.
CIVIL rights organisation AfriForum penned a pithy letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa blasting Eskom’s plan to hike its electricity tariff by a whopping 32.66%.
Eskom’s “ridiculous” plan comes at a time when South Africa is facing crippling power cuts, electricity rates that are already unaffordable for many and high inflation and unemployment rates.
In the strongly-worded letter that was also sent to Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and the CEO of the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), Nomalanga Sithole, AfriForum sought to have talks to discuss the proposed hikes.
This after the High Court in Pretoria ordered Nersa to publish Eskom’s tariff application for the 2023/24 financial year on or before August 1 and make a determination by December 24.
“(We) want steps that can be implemented to bring relief to the power sector,” AfriForum’s Jacques Broodryk said in a lengthy statement.
Broodryk said their letter was “urgent” and that the matter needed to receive the attention it deserves.
AfriForum, according to Broodryk, also took exception to the fact that Eskom wants consumers who have solar generating capacity to fork out more money than ordinary power consumers.
This means that people who are less dependent on the Eskom grid, for example those who use solar power, would every month – should Nersa give Eskom its way – pay R720 extra in addition to the R218 they already pay for harvesting solar energy. In total these consumers will pay the parastatal R938.
“The minister should be responsible for the failures of Nersa to keep the energy sector healthy … It is Eskom’s inefficiencies that forces people to look at alternative power generation methods and now the same people might be fined for it. Eskom wants consumers to pay for power that they are not even getting at the moment.”
Broodryk further said a decentralised network is a solution to the power crisis that South Africans are experiencing.
The DA is also spitting fire after it emerged through media reports that government had spent around R2.6 million to keep the lights on at various ministers’ houses.
Samantha Graham-Maré, the DA’s spokesperson on public works and infrastructure, said it was a “shame” that hospitals, businesses and ordinary South Africans were struggling in the dark, while the ministers responsible for the disaster were not struggling with the problem.