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)

A union and civil society coalition vowed on Monday to protest against Eskom's proposed 16 percent electricity increase outside a public hearing in Cape Town this week.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) spokesman Castro Ngobese said they would picket outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on Tuesday morning.

The CTICC is the venue for the first hearing by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa).

The union feared jobs would be lost and the cost of living increase should Eskom's application to Nersa succeed.

Christelle Terreblanche, speaking on behalf of the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign and other organisations, said they had been given permission to demonstrate outside the convention centre at 1pm on Tuesday.

In attendance would be organisations such as the Energy Governance Initiative-SA, Green Connection and the Right2Know campaign.

“We cannot allow NERSA to grant Eskom’s application without a thorough review of national energy and resource plans,” Terreblanche said.

“South Africa is already one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses and ranks number one in Africa. We have to answer to the world for our debt to present and future generations.”

Eskom applied for an average price increase of 16 percent for each year from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018.

Nersa spokeswoman Poppie Mahlangu said hearings would be held in every province until the end of the month, to allow members of the public and other organisations to ask questions.

Numsa secretary Irvin Jim indicated on Sunday that shopstewards would picket at every hearing. - Sapa