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Call for Nersa to deny Eskom’s 15% tariff increase request

The power utility says that even with this hefty hike it will still have a R50 billion debt hole to plug.

Some of the Numsa members, joined by members of the public, demonstrate outside Soweto State Theatre where public hearings on Eskom’s tariff application are being held. Picture: @NERSA_ZA/Twitter.

JABULANI - A picket led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members, along with other groups, continues in Soweto calling on National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to deny Eskom its proposed 15% tariff hike.

Eskom has asked Nersa for a 15% tariff increase over three years.

Nersa will resume its public hearings on Eskom’s tariff application on Friday afternoon in Soweto.

The power utility says even with this hefty hike, it will still have a R50 billion debt hole to plug.

There are several people from Numsa, the Soweto Action Committee and the United Front singing outside the Soweto Theatre where the Nersa hearings are taking place.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says quite frankly, members of the working class can’t afford this tariff increase.

“The impact on society, on food products and transportation... already members of the working class are struggling. They spend more than half their salaries on transportation alone.”

Hlubi-Majola says the impact of an increase like this would hurt workers the most.

“Some of our members have been retrenched in small firms.”

She says Eskom has other options, adding that the Independent Power Producer Project alone in one financial year unjustifiably cost the power utility R9 billion.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)