Eskom is seeking a 15 % price increase in electricity over the next three years and South Africans simply cannot afford it.
“This is an attempt to make the public pay for Eskom’s corruption and inefficiency and it must be rejected out of hand,” said the Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone.
“South Africans are already struggling with the VAT increase, relentless fuel price hikes and the spiraling cost of basic goods. People simply cannot afford a steep electricity price increase,” she cautioned.
While the DA appreciates the efforts of the new Eskom board to turn things around at the troubled state-owned enterprise, Mazzone said the DA refused to “support forcing the public to pay for Eskom’s inefficiency and corruption”.
“It is simply unfair to make people pay for the corruption, inefficiency and bloatedness that has come to characterise Eskom,” she added.
She urged the board to continue its efforts to find “innovative ways to increase revenue and cut costs.”
“Eskom needs to cut its inflated wage bill, reclaim its municipal debts, halt illegal connections, encourage high-end industrial users back into the fold and consider options for exporting surplus electricity,” she suggested.
Mazzone believes that the time has come for Eskom to be restructured and/or privatized.
“Ultimately, the only way to keep the cost of electricity down is to introduce market competition in the generation and/or transmission of electricity,” she urged.