South Africa

‘Anti-poor’: Soweto Action Committee slams Eskom tariff hike

The Soweto Action Committee (SAC) has lambasted the 9.61 Eskom tariff hike implemented which came into effect on Friday, 1 April 2022.

The Committee says the tariff hike will have a direct impact on poor households.

SOWETO ACTION COMMITTEE SLAMS ESKOM TARIFF HIKE

Initially, Eskom applied for a 20.5% tariff increase, however the Energy Regulator (NERSA) granted a 9.61% increase for the 2022/23 financial year.

Soweto Action Committee spokesperson, Lerato Mogapi said NERSA must be ashamed it allowed the high increase to pass despite high inflation.

Mogapi said the high unemployment rate makes it difficult for people to make ends meet on a daily basis.

“The Soweto Action Committee believes that Eskom’s current system does not cater for the poor, the majority of whom are unemployed. We are therefore calling on this monopoly power utility to provide electricity services that are cheaper for residents who are already struggling with fuel increases and interest rates.

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“Soweto residents are also fed up with the daily load shedding schedule masquerading as load reduction for residents in Soweto townships, Orange Farm, Diepsloot and Ekurhuleni.”

Lerato Mogapi

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were also lambasted the tariff hike.

The party said the decision is a cruel addition to the misery of the poor, considering the depressing levels of unemployment, increasing cost of living and a dwindling economy.

Soweto came under the spotlight after it was revealed that scores of residents were not paying for electricity and some had connected it illegally.

The Committee said in February 2022 they sent a letter to the Eskom Regional Office proposing a minimum monthly electricity flat rate.

Unfortunately they since then have not received a response from Eskom.

“We are still eager to meet with Eskom management in the region of Soweto to address the concerns of residents with regards to providing affordable electricity services.

“Soweto residents have never said they don’t want to pay for electricity; however, we are requesting that Eskom try and test the Flat Rate system of payment that can relieve the burden on low income earners.”

Soweto Action Committee

ALSO READ: Pain in the pocket for Capetonians as rates and electricity tariffs increase

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