South Africans will not pay a cent more to Eskom to stay in the dark

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
16 Sep 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP

The 32,02% tariff increase application for 2023 by Eskom to the National Energy Regulatory Authority of South Africa (NERSA) is outrageous and an insult to South Africans who have been forced to contend with a rising cost of living crisis and increasing frequency of loadshedding.

As part of the DA’s response to this Eskom tariff application, we will be making a detailed oral submission against the tariff increase when NERSA opens up its public participation process next week. Our submission will be based on the simple premise that South Africans cannot be made to pay more for electricity that they do not have.

With 2022 on course to become the worst loadshedding year on record, it is simply immoral for Eskom to think that it makes business sense for them to charge high tariffs on a product that they are unable to deliver. The Eskom business model has failed and consumers should not be asked to bear the cost of a company on ‘life support’.

NERSA is duty bound, as per its obligations under the NERSA Act, to ensure that Eskom is not rewarded for keeping South Africans in the dark. The tariff request is a rip off that is being forced down the throats of consumers to pay for ANC’s policy failures in dealing with Eskom and the electricity sector, state capture and its lethargic approach to opening up out electricity transmission network to new generation and storage capacity from independent power producers.

As recently as a week ago, Eskom announced in its power outlook for 2023 that the ‘likely risk scenario’ for load shedding remains high. Confronted with this grim reality, Eskom still went ahead to submit probably the highest tariff increase application in its history.

If NERSA is to approve Eskom’s tariff request, amidst a growing cost of living crisis, it would plunge millions of South Africans into poverty, force the closure of businesses and worsen the unemployment crisis. We simply cannot afford to ask overburdened consumers to foot the bill of the ANC’s failure to address the electricity crisis and grow the economy.

Eskom’s 32% tariff increase application comes on the back of the DA’s ongoing national campaign against the rising costs of food. South Africa is in the throes of a full-blown hunger crisis, with the cost of a basic food basket becoming unaffordable for many people. The DA will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that Eskom does not add more economic misery through an unjustified tariff increase.