ANC must reject power price hikes - Numsa

2010-02-24 14:52

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA today called on the ANC

and its alliance partners to reject the latest electricity price

increases.


“These tariffs are going to exacerbate job losses and negate

government’s efforts of creating decent work in the midst of high cost of living

and widening income inequalities amongst the rich and the poor,” said spokesman

Castro Ngobese in a statement.


Nersa’s approved tariff hikes


The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) today approved a 24.8

percent electricity price hike for 2010, a 25.8 percent increase for 2011 and

25.9 percent for 2012.


Eskom applied for a 35 percent price increase for each of the next

three years to finance its multi-billion rand expansion programme.


The union called on the ANC and the alliance to reject the approved

tariff hikes as failure to do so would lead to “mass retaliation on the streets

by the working class and the poor“.


‘The increase is a vast improvement’ - ANC


The ANC reacted to the announcement by congratulating Nersa for

“applying its mind” to the tariff hike application, describing the increase as a

“vast improvement” on Eskom’s original proposal.


“... The electricity tariff increases remain high and require other

interventions to reduce the endemic poverty in our country.


“We call upon all municipal distributors, which effected a 34

percent increase in the 2009/10 financial year to adhere to the Nersa guidelines

of implementing a municipal guideline increase of 15.33 percent from July 1, of

16.03 percent from July 1, 2011, and 16.16 percent from July 1, 2012,” the

ruling party said.


Ngobese added that the tariffs sought to “defocus” the ANC-led

alliance from its objectives of “liberating our people and improving their

social conditions as dictate by the Freedom Charter”.


“We view these tariffs as part of a defeated agenda in Polokwane to

use state-owned entities to undermine the developmental agenda that is being

advanced by the people’s government.”


He said the workers and the poor were at the forefront of the

effects of the recession and the “disastrous neo-liberal policy interventions”

which were pursued over the past decade and a half.

 

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