Cosatu to oppose Eskom's tariff increase

The utility has already requested a 25.3% increase of which about 12% has already been approved.

Eskom head office. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) said it will oppose another tariff increase on the price of electricity as it believes this will make it unavailable to the poor.

It also said it supported government's bail outs for Eskom.

The utility has requested a 25.3 percent tariff hike of which about 12 percent has already been approved.

The federation's 14 affiliates met over three days this week to begin planning for a special national congress in July.

They discussed recent protests against Eskom in Soweto and warned the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) against only conducting public hearings in suburbs while neglecting rural areas.

Cosatu's acting General-Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said this will impact on the lives of ordinary people and the economy.

"The impact is not only ordinary people but it's on the economy as a whole. So we're calling for leadership and we're calling for the fiscals' because this is a crisis. The fiscals must be able to bailout Eskom."