Electricity consumers paying for ANC failures - Opposition parties

2010-02-24 14:49

Opposition parties today said Eskom’s new tariff hike of 24.8%

would result in consumers paying for the failures of the ANC, and would raise

funds for the ruling party through its part-ownership of Hitachi Power

Africa.

Democratic Alliance

“The announcement of yet another hike demonstrates that the ANC

administration has once again fallen prey to precisely the same misguided logic

that has dominated the ANC’s approach to parastatals over the last decade,” DA

spokesman Manie van Dyk said in a statement.

“Not for the first time, it is consumers who are being made to pay

for the failures of the ANC government.”

“The impact will be felt by all South Africans, and particularly

those in the working and middle classes.”

He accused the ANC of neglecting to build power plants and ignoring

poor administration at Eskom.

Van Dyk said that rather than create tariff hikes, the government

should introduce private power producers which would draw in capital

markets.

He said that by refusing to include the private sector, the ANC

would “remain tied by their obsession with a state-centred developmental

approach“.

Independent Democrats

The Independent Democrats said the price hikes “will cripple our

economy, consumers and small businesses and has committed us to a coal-fired

energy future South Africa and the world can ill-afford“.

ID energy spokesman Lance Greyling said it meant that ordinary

South Africans would be forking out money for electricity which would go to the

ANC’s investment company Chancellor House.

It owned 25 percent of Hitachi Power Africa, which won tenders to

build boilers for the new Eskom plants of Medupi and Kusile.

“This means that the ANC will be making money off poor and ordinary

South Africans. It is simply shocking that government did not simply cancel the

construction of Kusile, the second coal-fired power station proposed by Eskom,”

said Greyling.

He called on municipalities to exercise “immense restraint” in the

mark-up they placed on electricity sales and berated Nersa for not having the

courage to stand up to Eskom and the government.

“We can no longer have a situation where so many municipalities

derive most of their revenue from electricity sales.”

United Democratic Movement

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa warned that the

price increases were likely to lead to higher unemployment.

He also linked the higher tariffs to the ANC’s business interests

in Hitachi’s contracts with Eskom.

“It is a sad day for our democracy when the public is forced to pay

this unjustifiable secondary tax so that Eskom can finance its Hitachi deal,

which the ANC will make billions of rands from at our expense.”

Freedom Front Plus

The Freedom Front Plus said the tariff hikes amounted to making

South Africans pay for the mistakes made by Eskom and the government.

FF Plus spokesman Anto Alberts said there should have been a

moratorium on price hikes until experts or the National Planning Commission

developed “a meta-energy plan that would have given birth to a sustainable and

affordable strategy“.

In the meantime, the party said, the state could have “funded Eskom

to keep the lights burning“.


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