Eskom chief: A balance needs to be struck

Eskom head Brian Dames says there’s a balance needed between Eskom’s electricity and financial situation.

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

JOHANNESBURG - A balance needs to be struck between the secure supply of electricity and the financial sustainability of Eskom, the parastatal's chief executive Brian Dames said on Wednesday.

He was speaking on the first day of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's public hearings into Eskom's proposed tariff-hike in Midrand.

Eskom has applied to raise electricity prices by 16 percent per year over the next five years.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African National Civic Organisation are among the groups which will voice their concern over the proposed increases.

Dames said the tariff needed to meet the needs of industry and consumers.

"As a country we need an electricity path which ensures that Eskom and the industry remain financially viable and sustainable but that also makes sure that we have electricity that remains affordable, especially for the poor."

Cosatu has already staged protests at previous hearings in Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

It has also complained the hearings are not being held in poorer areas.

Meanwhile, an advisor to the National Planning Commission said Eskom's application for the tariff hike was no longer justifiable.

The public participation process in Gauteng ends on Thursday.