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Cape Town mayor calls on public to support petition against 'unjustified’ Eskom tariff hike

File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 14, 2022

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Cape Town - Cape Town’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has called on the public to reject Eskom’s proposed tariff increase of 20.5%.

“Capetonians are struggling to meet the rising cost of living, and it is unfair and unjustified for Eskom to try to fix its financial problems by passing this burden on to households. So far, Eskom has refused to withdraw or amend its application,” the petition reads.

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Eskom confirmed that in December it had applied to the National Energy Regulator of SA to increase the price of electricity by 20.5%.

It is unknown how many people have signed the petition.

However, commentators on Facebook reacting to the petition have expressed their dismay over the proposed price increase.

“Many people are having to choose between food or electricity… What a poor state of affairs… When are COCT dropping punitive electricity, and water levies??? WE ARE STRUGGLING MR MAYOR,” a Facebook user said.

“But with this increase, still more and more load shedding,” said another.

In his statement on Thursday rejecting the proposed increase, Hill-Lewis thanked Eskom CEO André de Ruyter for improving Eskom’s efficiencies under his management.

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However, Hill-Lewis went on to say that 2020 and 2021 were two of the worst load-shedding years on record.

De Ruyter became CEO of Eskom on January 15, 2019.

Hill-Lewis believes a 5.5% increase, which is in line with the current rate of inflation, would be reasonable.

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According to eNCA on Wednesday, the proposed price increase will mean R100 will translate into only 30 units of electricity.

According to Hill-Lewis, the energy regulator is required to table the 2022/2023 price increase in Parliament by March 15, which means there is still time for Eskom to revise the proposed increase.

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