Tariff Increases Hit Consumers Where It Hurts Most – Their Hard-Earned Cash

Picture: @NERSA_ZA/Twitter

Cash-strapped South African consumers need to brace themselves for more financial pain. Economists have warned food and electricity prices are likely to go up after Eskom was granted above-inflation price increases by the energy regulator for the next three years.

The power utility is embroiled in state capture and has guts to make people suffer.

Already, consumers have been hit hard by the petrol and diesel increases.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said that workers are already feeling the pinch from the rising costs of fuel, food and other necessities.

Cosatu suggests Eskom should first develop a turnaround strategy before any price hikes take effect. 

“This tariff increase will have serious consequences for the economy. Increases in the cost of living will leave consumers with less disposable income, which will put the economy further in trouble,” Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.  

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) also criticised Nersa’s decision saying there had been a 400% increase in electricity tariffs over the last 10 years and this latest round of increases “represent yet another assault of the living standards of all South Africans, but more so the poor and the working class”.

“We demand that government should dismiss the current CEO [Phakamani Hadebe] and the entire board and dismantle the task team it has put above the board. Their appointment has made no difference whatsoever. We demand that a new CEO with necessary experience, skills and expertise supported by a new board in which labour and civil society will be represented be put in place,” Saftu said in a statement. 

Eskom’s application for between 15%-17% tariff increases for the next three years was largely opposed by business, labour and civil society in written and oral submissions to Nersa.