The proposed increase request by Eskom is worse than “attempting to milk a mosquito dry”‚ because it disregards the fact that more than 30.4 million South Africans are living in poverty.
The African National Congress Youth League made this comment as it called on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject Eskom’s request of a 19.9% increase in the tariff it charges for electricity.
The league said Eskom disregarded the reality that almost 32% of households’ disposable income went toward housing‚ water‚ electricity‚ gas and other fuels.
“This absurd proposal ignores the grim reality that almost 75% of South African households’ net income is used to service creditors and 60% of these South Africans‚ which will be the hardest hit by this tariff increase‚ struggle to service their debt consistently.”
Last month‚ Nersa approved the process and timelines for processing Eskom’s allowable revenue application for the 2018/19 financial year.
Eskom in August applied for a total allowable revenue of R219bn. This translates to a 19.9% average increase in electricity tariffs.
“This ridiculous increase proposed by Eskom will result in those buying electricity from municipalities paying almost 28% more for electricity‚ after municipalities have included their mark-up‚” the league said.
Friday is the closing date for the public to submit written comments to Nersa.
Public hearings on Eskom’s revenue application will be heard from October 30 to November 17 and Nersa will make a decision on Eskom’s revenue application on December 7.
Members of the public and stakeholders wishing to attend the hearings or present their views must submit their request to Nersa by October 23.
The league said it was criminal to attempt to pass on the severe costs of gross financial mismanagement and corruption at Eskom to poor South Africans.
It said the only way out for Eskom from this self-engineered financial crisis was to seek the arrest of all those who had allegedly been siphoning money illegally from the power utility.
The league suggested that Eskom recoup the money stolen from it to ease the current financial crisis‚ as it had already started with Trillian and McKinsey.
by Ernest Mabuza – TimesLIVE