‘South Africans cannot afford another electricity price hike’

The mining sector, business & municipalities warn that if this goes ahead, industries will collapse.

FILE. Eskom has asked Nersa for a 25.3 percent electricity price hike. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Businesses, the mining sector and municipalities are adamant South Africans cannot afford another electricity price hike and warn that if it goes ahead, industries will collapse and jobs will be lost.

This was the sentiment from majority of organisations who made presentations to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on day one of public hearings into Eskom's proposed 25.3 percent price hike.

Nersa was holding public hearings at Nasrec on Tuesday which will continue today, before making its decision.

The South Africa Local Government Association (Salga) Nhlanhla Ngidi said increasing electricity prices is simply not viable.

"The municipalities cannot pay these increases. The customers cannot pay these increases."

The Chamber of Mines' Monique Mathys said a price means mine closures will go up from 30 percent to 80 percent.

"When we say the mining sector is in crisis, that we are facing real sustainability issues, these are the realities that we face."

Eskom meanwhile said it needs money now to recover the costs for diesel so it can keep the lights on during business hours, to prevent further damage to the economy.