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Pickets outside Nersa hearing

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A group of more than a hundred people were picketing at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's public hearings on Eskom's proposed 16 percent tariff increase in Durban on Thursday.

The group from the Wentworth Development Forum were carrying placards saying “stop Eskom price increase”.

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050910 Electricity pylons carry power from Cape Town's Koeberg nuclear power plant July 17, 2009. South Africa will need 20 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation capacity by 2020 and would require double that amount a decade later to meet rising demand, the country's power utility said September 7, 2009. Picture taken July 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (SOUTH AFRICA ENERGY BUSINESS)

Others said: “poor to pay for Eskom bad planning” and “why is government silent?”

Joseph Harker, who lives in Wentworth, said he was a pensioner and he paid R800 a month for electricity.

Harker said he could not afford to pay for electricity with the proposed 16 percent increase over the next five years. His R40

annual increase on his pension would not be enough to cover the hike. - Sapa

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