The Sol Plaatje Local Municipality in the Northern Cape did not have adequate consultation with communities in Kimberley with regards to the proposed electricity tariff increase. This is according to African National Congress Provincial Secretary in the Northern Cape, Deshi Ngxanga, speaking at a media briefing in Kimberley.

The party’s revelation comes after thousands of residents marched to the Sol Plaatje Municipality to demand the cancellation of the proposed electricity increase upfront payment of R260. The community outcry has led to the intervention of the ANC.

The party wants plans of increasing electricity tariffs to be postponed. It strongly declares that there is no justification of not consulting various communities.

“You can’t take decisions without consulting the communities properly, so yes, as the ANC, we want to reaffirm the principle of participated democracy. The council and administration are obliged in taking decisions that will affect the communities; they must consult with the communities. So, there’s no justification for not properly consulting with our communities.”

The issue of affordability will also be assessed. The ANC says they will not allow electricity tariffs that cannot be afforded.

“We can’t have exorbitant tariffs that will be imposed on our communities. It should be affordable for our communities and any tariff that will be implemented cannot be a burden on our community. We’ll actually engage with the municipality to check on the issue of affordability,” says Ngxanga.

The ANC wants Sol Plaatje Municipality to continue using the old electricity tariff structure until the matter is resolved. The party will also establish a task team to monitor the progress of extensive engagements expected to transpire between the municipality and various organisations and communities.