Home South African Solidarity will go to court if Eskom tariff is approved

Solidarity will go to court if Eskom tariff is approved

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Solidarity came out guns blazing, describing Eskom’s latest application submitted to Nersa as absurd.

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EMBATTLED power utility Eskom has come under fire following its proposal of new power tariffs, and its bid that on-grid solar users pay R938 per month even if they don’t use its electricity.

The news sent most people in the country into an uproar, after having to contend with months of rolling blackouts this year.

Solidarity came out guns blazing on Wednesday, describing Eskom’s latest application submitted to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) as absurd, irrational and unlawful. It stated that, if Eskom’s application was accepted, Solidarity would oppose the proposal with all the legal recourse at its disposal.

According to Solidarity, South Africa’s only hope of getting out of the power crisis lies in small-scale power generation that is taking place on a large scale, and Solidarity believes that it is through proposals such as this one that Eskom is turning itself from being an obstacle to power security into being a threat to it.

“It is one thing if Eskom does not want to contribute towards solving South Africa’s power crisis. However, by making proposals such as this Eskom is changing from being a millstone around the neck to being an enemy of reliable power supply,” Solidarity chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann said.

“If Eskom does not want to be involved in solutions itself, we will litigate until at least Eskom no longer stands in the way of others who want to solve the matter,” Hermann said.

Solidarity argues that, right now, the country should go out of its way to encourage and facilitate private power generation while Eskom’s tariff proposal only exacerbates the situation.

“Instead of encouraging private power generation, Eskom now wants to tax it. Paying tax for a service is one thing; to pay taxes for no service is something totally different.

“Eskom now indeed wants to tax South Africans who are starting to provide their own services as a result of Eskom’s inability to supply power.

“Simply by tabling such a proposal creates huge uncertainty. The proposal should be eliminated as soon as possible,” Hermann added.

The power utility implemented Stage 6 load shedding on June 28, for only the second time since the rolling blackouts began in South Africa more than 10 years ago.

The DA said Eskom’s latest tariff application for a 32.7 percent increase in the price of electricity was immoral and an insult to South Africans who have endured possibly the worst load-shedding schedule so far this year.

The DA said it would submit its objections to this proposed Eskom “rip-off” once Nersa opened public comments on August 1.

“South Africans are already struggling to stay above water due to the sharply rising cost of living, and a high inflationary environment. For Eskom to add an additional high electricity tariff increase for a service they cannot provide is simply unacceptable,” the DA said.

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