Eskom slammed at public hearings
Members of the public are totally against Eskom’s proposed 16 percent tariff hike.
CAPE TOWN - Eskom was slammed at public hearings on its tariff hike application on Tuesday despite its argument that the proposed increase is as fair and low as possible.
Public hearings were held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre under the auspices of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
The power utility wants to increase its tariffs' by 16 percent a year over the next five years.
Speaker after speaker poked holes in Eskom's submission.
Liz McDaid of the Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute criticised the power utility for prioritising its revenue over service delivery.
Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Lance Greyling said more transparency is needed around Eskom's cost of generation.
He told officials there are a number of figures floating around out there, leading to confusion.
Earlier in the day, Eskom boss Brian Dames told Nersa he believes the company has struck an optimal balance.
Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said the national energy regulator should put the interests of the poor above those of Eskom's.
The trade union federation's Mike Louw said the regulator needs to realise the country's poor cannot keep up with ongoing power price hikes.
"Making determinations in the public interest means not increasing electricity tariffs in a manner that will remove the majority of our people, who had been denied access to electricity for many years from the grid."