Protest during Eskom tariff hearings

A memorandum was given to Nersa from people opposing electricity tariff increases.

File: Eskom's Megawatt Park offices. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

DURBAN - There was heavy police presence outside the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) on Thursday where protestors picketed outside the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)'s public hearing.

It was the third leg of Nersa's public hearings on Eskom's proposed tariff hike of 16 percent per year for the next five years.

Hearings have already been held in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth this week.

While submissions continued inside the ICC, members of civil society organisations and community's around KwaZulu-Natal picketed outside, expressing their concerns about the proposed increase.

Among their demands was a call for Eskom to develop an alternative energy plan that does not pass the burden of price increases onto the poor, or cause destruction to the environment.

Spokesperson for the 'Campaign against Eskom' Desmond Desai said, "We are here at the ICC to tell Eskom in no uncertain terms that we are not accepting any increase.

"We have told Nersa not to allow Eskom any increases and that if they give them an increase we will not sit and talk to them anymore, we will not negotiate, we are going to fight with them all the time."

A memorandum was handed to Nersa spokesperson Charles Hlebela.

He assured the crowd that that their concerns and objections will be taken into consideration before a decision is made in February.