Johannesburg - Municipalities, households and small businesses have been the major concern after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approved Eskom’s tariff application, which resulted in electricity price upsurge of 18.65%.
This has also prompted various responses from opposition parties, with many of them describing the decision as unfair.
The statement revealed by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA, says the latest Nersa-approved hike in Eskom tariffs is yet another blemish on both organisations’ and the government’s tattered and torn reputations.
“Forking out an added 18.65% for a service that doesn’t deliver half of what it should is a slap in the face of consumers, workers and businesses alike. It is unaffordable for most, and the prospect of another 12.74% increase next year is sickening.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa's lame-duck comment that he regrets the current energy challenges merely rubs salt into consumers’ wounds. Nersa’s condition that the hikes are dependent on Eskom’s driving efficiencies is laughable. Despite government bailouts and tariff increases, Eskom hasn’t been efficient for years. Why would this increase lead to sudden efficiency?”
IFP has also noted Nersa’s decision to grant Eskom a power price increase and claimed that the decision is both irrational and unreasonable.
“South African consumers cannot take yet another body blow, as millions are already struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table. In addition, SMMEs — without the purchasing power of the bigger corporates — are suffering and collapsing. Not only will this price hike push many to breaking point, but when businesses are forced to close, employees are left without an income, or the means to take care of their families.
“Eskom has clearly shown itself unable to provide a stable energy supply, with the country currently at Stage 6 — for the foreseeable future. Why then are beleaguered consumers being forced to pay more for a sub-par service? This amounts to nothing more than consumer bullying,” said the IFP.
The DA also weighed in, saying: “The decision by Nersa to increase electricity tariffs by 18.65%, despite consumers spending over 120 days in darkness in 2022, with indefinite stage 6 load shedding already in 2023, is official sanctioned daylight robbery against consumers.
“It is time for all South Africans to stand up and say ‘Enough Is Enough!’,” said the DA.