Cape Town – Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has described Eskom’s proposed 32% electricity tariff increase as “unjust” and “unfair”, saying that the City won’t stand for it.
Hill-Lewis said this during his presentation at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA)’s public hearings on Eskom this week.
The ailing power utility recently asked the energy regulator to allow it to increase its power prices by more than a quarter, starting on 1 April 1 next year.
In his presentation on Thursday, Hill-Lewis told NERSA that any increase in electricity above inflation would be unjust.
“I reiterated what I said to NERSA earlier this year, at the hearings on Eskom’s last enormous price hike — any increase in the cost of electricity substantially above inflation is unfair, unaffordable, and unjust.
“I am determined to fight for ordinary Capetonians against this outrageous proposal, a staggering number of whom are already struggling to make ends meet and buckling under the rising cost of living,” the mayor said.
He said that the City needed Eskom and NERSA to play their part while the City worked to reduce the cost of electricity for Capetonians through their own electricity procurement from cheaper sources than Eskom.
Hill-Lewis highlighted the steep increases in electricity in recent times.
“The price of electricity has risen more than 500% over the past 16 years, far exceeding inflation over that time. Over this period in which electricity has become steadily more expensive, the security of our electricity supply has grown steadily less reliable.
“This year is already the worst year of load-shedding on record. The Stage 6 load-shedding we have experienced in the last week destroyed R4,2 billion in value from our economy each day,” Hill-Lewis said.
He also made reference to a list of alternative action steps that would allow Eskom to achieve better financial sustainability, which he proposed in January this year.
His list of proposals included:
- Urgently reducing Eskom’s bloated payroll
- Cancelling tenders with unscrupulous suppliers who provide Eskom with goods and services at massively inflated prices and
- Ending corruption and mismanagement (irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure cost the utility R14,6 billion in 2020 and R7,4 billion in 2019) and
- Recovering money that has been looted during the period of state capture
The mayor reiterated his desire for NERSA to reject Eskom’s proposed 32% electricity tariff increase.
Picture: Twitter/ @geordinhl
Compiled by Junaid Benjamin