Durban - Durban residents have rejected a proposed 15 percent increase in tariffs by Eskom.
During NERSA's (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) public hearings at the Durban ICC on Thursday community leaders and ordinary citizens voiced their concerns about Eskom’s application for a 15% annual increase for the next three years.
Community activist, Desmond D’sa questioned why ordinary citizens should suffer for the mistakes made by Eskom.
“Eskom was given the money and the energy but they failed.
"Now they come here today for approval of an increase that will only affect the poor.
"But I say that those who are guilty of the failure must be held accountable. The money must be directly accounted for.”
Pensioner Premie Pillay said any further hikes in electricity will affect her standard of living.
“We are already struggling to make ends meet. How does Eskom expect us to survive increased costs? It’s not fair. Why should we have to suffer for their mistakes and mismanagement.”
Pat Wilson who lives at an old age home in Sydenham said she relies on her pension money to pay the rent at the home and is worried that with an electricity hike, her rent would be impacted.
“We have no one to support us. Eskom doesn’t think of us pensioners and what we have to pay with the little money we have. We say a big no to this increase.”
Eskom’s application was made to recover revenue totalling R762 billion over the next three financial years from electricity users through increased tariffs.
Nersa regulator and chair of the hearing, Nomfundo Maseti, said Eskom needed to account for the apparent mismanagement of operations and questioned why its costumers had to bear the brunt of its failures.
“You need to be accountable for maintenance and your inefficiencies. What comfort can Eskom provide to Nersa that this would not happen again.”