Government should review 15% electricity tariff increase: COPE

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The Congress of the People (COPE) says government should review the 15% electricity tariff increase, which kicked in on Thursday. The party’s Spokesperson Dennis Bloem has condemned the electricity hike.

In a 15 February ruling, the High Court in Pretoria said R10 billion should be added to Eskom’s allowable revenue to be recovered from customers in the 2021/22 financial period.

That judgment followed 2020’s ruling in favour of Eskom, which allowed the power utility to push for a higher tariff increase than what Nersa was willing to allow.

Nersa’s Nhlanhla Gumede weighs in on the looming 15.63% price increase:

Consumers are also facing substantial fuel price hikes in April.

Many people have lost their jobs and had their salaries reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with lockdowns.

Bloem says it will further kill the economy and hit the poor and unemployed the hardest.

“Government can never justify this increase. Millions of people have lost their jobs. The unemployment figure is rising by the day. Very soon, the electricity will be reserved for the rich only. It is already a luxury to have electricity in your house or in your shack. Cost of living is rising by the day. It is totally unfair that the struggling people must be punished because of years of corruption that took place at Eskom. But sadly, not a single thief is in jail for collapsing Eskom. We call upon government to review this latest Eskom electricity increase.”