DA challenges Eskom tariff hike, calls for alternatives amid rolling blackouts

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has voiced strong opposition to the 30% tariff increase granted to Eskom by the energy regulator, Nersa, and is calling upon the government to seek alternative solutions to address the nation’s power crisis.

The matter is set to be brought before the High Court in Pretoria as the DA seeks legal recourse against the recent surge in electricity tariffs and the persistent challenge of rolling blackouts that have plagued South Africa.

Eskom received an 18.65% tariff hike for the 2023/2024 financial year, followed by an additional 12.74% increase scheduled for the subsequent financial year. These rate hikes took effect in April 2023, further burdening consumers already grappling with soaring living costs.

Eskom sticks to decision to apply for a 20,5 % electricity tariff increase

DA leader John Steenhuisen asserts that the party’s primary objective in this legal action is to have load shedding (rolling blackouts) declared unconstitutional. Steenhuisen criticised the government’s reliance on tariff hikes, stating, “Our view is that this is the easy way out for the government when what they should be doing is looking at ways in which they can tighten the belt. We spend R8 billion every year, for instance, on VIP protection services, ministerial mansions, and various other areas where budgetary reforms can be made, but it’s much simpler to pass the financial burden onto consumers.”

Steenhuisen emphasised the potential consequences of hyperinflationary increases and underscored the importance of electricity as a human right.

Deprivation of electricity in households, according to Steenhuisen, is both unfair and unconstitutional. The DA’s legal challenge is part of its broader effort to address the pressing issue of electricity supply in South Africa, advocating for solutions that prioritize the well-being of all citizens.

DA says it rejects electricity tariff increase granted to Eskom by Nersa