'Eskom tariff increase could lead to 40k job losses in mining sector'

The Chamber of Mines is warning that the tariff increase could put the sector under threat.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Chamber of Mines is warning if Eskom is granted a further tariff hike, up to 40,000 people in the mining sector could lose their jobs.

Public hearings are being held in Midrand today and tomorrow into the utility's application for a 16.6 percent electricity price hike.

Businesses and organisations are calling on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the application.

The chamber's Charmaine Russell says Eskom's application is over and above the eight percent tariff increase for this year, and if granted, it could put the mining sector under threat.

"We would envisage that, should this application be granted, we could see as many as 20,000 jobs being lost in the gold sector and another 20,000 in the platinum sector."

Eskom has argued that it needs to recover R22.8 billion some of which was spent on buying diesel to operate open cycle gas turbines, to avoid load shedding.

Businesses will continue presenting arguments at the public hearings tomorrow before the national energy regulator decides whether or not to approve the application.