Cosatu considers strike over potential power price hike

Eskom says it's going to ask Nersa to reopen its multi-year price determination.

FILE: Eskom's Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Monday said that if it's not able to convince the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) to stop Eskom from hiking power prices, it will consider taking to the streets in protest.

Eskom has said it's going to ask Nersa to reopen its multi-year price determination, partly because of the high cost of running its diesel generators.

Nersa's Charles Hlebela said they haven't yet received a formal power price hike application from Eskom.

"The application will be considered by the energy regulator. The energy regulator will also determine the process and the timeline."

However, Cosatu's Patrick Craven said South Africans and companies simply can't afford to pay any more for electricity.

"The government must intervene and either raise the money themselves by raising tax on the rich or find out ways to get money from the private sector into Eskom."

But Eskom has said that people are simply not used to paying the full price for the power they use.

Earlier this month, the power utility announced a 25 percent tariff hike to help cover the cost of diesel used to operate gas turbines, which helped prevent load shedding over the past year.

Take a look at EWN's feature on how to survive load shedding.

To view load shedding schedules in your area, click here.