The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has labelled Eskom’s application for a 17% tariff increase as “arrogance”.  Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA) Archives.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has labelled Eskom’s application for a 17% tariff increase as “arrogance”. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

Eskom's 17% tariff hike grab 'smacks of arrogance'

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Dec 24, 2019

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Cape Town - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has labelled Eskom’s application for a 17% tariff increase as “arrogance”.

Chamber president Geoff Jacobs said: “Eskom’s application for a 17% electricity tariff increase to compensate for the millions of rand it lost by imposing the recent power cuts marked a new level of arrogance and contempt for the public.”

Jacobs said the application was a slap in the face to consumers.

“It was typical of monopoly managers who think they are invulnerable to the market and can therefore treat their customers like dumb sheep,” he said.

The embattled power utility recently announced a tariff increase application of 16.6%. According to Eskom, it would need R27billion from consumers next year. Eskom is facing financial challenges, with a debt of more than R400bn.

“Despite the tariff application, Eskom has already received other forms of financial assistance.

“But, they are in for a shock. Just as email has dealt a body blow to letter writing, and cellphones are slowly but surely edging out landlines, there will come a time when massive state-owned power utilities run by overpopulated bureaucracies like Eskom will meet the same fate,” Jacobs said. 

In November, President Cyril Ramaphosa accented to a special appropriation bill which would grant Eskom R59bn over the next two years, which was already accounted for in Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni’s medium term budget policy statement in October.

“It would be better to recognise the inevitable and unbundle Eskom now, rather than allow political thinking to trump economic reality. There is no other way to stop its massive drain on the public purse and to end its damage to the South African economy,” Jacobs said.

@MarvinCharles17

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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