The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes the assurance by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) that no tariff adjustments by Eskom are in the pipeline. They were responding to a report that Eskom was seeking to recover higher than estimated costs through a 16% increase in electricity tariffs.
Last year, Nersa capped Eskom tariff price hikes at an average of 8% a year over the next five years, which was well above the rate of inflation.
The regulator is now undertaking a reconciliation of Eskom’s 2012-13 accounts to assess whether its actual expenditure exceeded what was budgeted, but have said that there would be no adjustments to the Eskom tariff that they approved in the five-year price determination. Additional costs incurred because of poor management, they insisted, would not be allowed.
COSATU has consistently opposed the succession of above-inflation tariff hikes over the past few years, which have imposed huge burdens on consumers and put the brakes on industrial development and economic growth because of the heavy increases businesses have had to carry. Any further increases would impose an even greater burden on the both consumers and the economy.
The federation will keep monitoring the situation and oppose any attempt by Eskom to pressurise Nersa into granting extra increases.
At the same time we remain committed to a strategy for the national energy efficiency campaign to encourage the efficient use of energy from all sources, in residential, industries, buildings, transportation and offices.
COSATU is a signatory to the Green Economy Accord which commits unions to help establish workplace committees to ensure efficient usage and stop waste of energy.
We call on workers, and every South African, to reduce their consumption of electricity to the minimum possible, in order to avoid any overloading of the grid, and to play their role in ensuring that the country achieves a 10% reduction in the energy usage.
Source: All Africa