Cosatu to protest against power hikes

Cosatu will lead nationwide protests against Eskom's proposed electricity price hike.

Cosatu will lead protests against Eskom's proposed electricity price hike.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of the South African Trade Union (Cosatu) in Gauteng on Monday told South Africans to prepare for a long and bitter battle over Eskom's proposed electricity price hike.

The trade union federation said public hearings should be held in poor areas, where the working class can make their voices heard.

Eskom has proposed an annual increase of 16 percent for the next three years.

The proposal still needs to be approved by National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Cosatu's Dumisani Dakile said the masses will rise up against this.

"Cosatu in Gauteng is rejecting the proposed price increase as it will negatively affect the workers. The proposed increases are going to exacerbate the high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality in our country."

E-TOLLS

Dakile also spoke about e-tolls, saying demonstrations will resume in February.

Cosatu is against the implementation of the controversial project.

Last week, Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) won a court application to appeal a North Gauteng High Court ruling regarding the tolls.

The matter will now be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Outa believes the consultation process was flawed.

But the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and National Treasury said they expect the SCA to vindicate it in the end.

The legal battle is expected to end up in the Constitutional Court.

Motorists with e-tags will pay up to 30 cents per kilometre or a maximum of R550 a month to use a large stretch of the province's highways.