The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) will present its outright rejection of Eskom’s “ridiculous” 30% tariff hike application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) at its hearings at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday morning, says the trade union federation.

“Nersa needs to show bold leadership and reject Eskom’s latest assault upon working and middle class families and the economy. It should protect workers and a struggling economy,” says Cosatu parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks.

“A simple inflation-based increase is all Eskom deserves. Workers are grilled by government and industry for seeking above inflation salary increases, and in fact rarely receive such. There is no moral justification to grant Eskom a 30% hike. Eskom’s leadership and government need to be held accountable for what has happened to the last 10 year’s continuously above inflation tariff hikes,” he says.

He says Eskom has shown no leadership, nor credibility, a comprehensive forensic and criminal investigation is needed and arrests, prosecution and forfeiture of stolen monies has to happen.

“An inclusive Eskom war room should be established, and develop a serious sustainability plan to save Eskom. This plan should include protecting coal and Eskom workers’ jobs; planning a just transition that would protect energy workers and their communities; asserting Eskom’s role as the owner and producer of all electricity, including renewable and clean energy; stabilising and reducing Eskom’s dangerously high debt levels; re-establishing Eskom as the electricity hub and lead exporter of energy to Africa; massively expanding Eskom’s electricity capacity in preparation for the 4th industrial revolution and linking this to locally producing electric cars, buses, and taxis; and rapidly growing energy as a jobs intensive industry, adds Parks.