March against madness

2015-06-25 06:01
PHOTO:nompendulo ngubane

Various community organisations, student movements, religious members, disabled people and community members join the march.

PHOTO:nompendulo ngubane Various community organisations, student movements, religious members, disabled people and community members join the march.

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PIETERMARITZBURG residents came out in their numbers in a march to object to the 25,3% electricity tariff hike proposed by Eskom­.

The protest started at Dales Park sports field and ended at the Msunduzi municipality offices.

The march was sparked after Eskom­ made an application for a 25, 3% increase to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

Community organisations, student movements, religious members, disabled people and community members joined in the march.

Speaking on behalf of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa), Julie Smith said they say “no” to the increase.

“We have embarked on this march to say no to what Eskom is proposing. The increase will affect every individual in many different ways. We are still faced with the challenge of low employee wages. PMB residents have decided that we must fight against this together.

“We are aware that the percentage increase of electricity impacts on an increase of other goods. The price of food, petrol and other necessities in households will increase. We cannot afford this percentage - it is very high,” said Smith.

City mayor Chris Ndlela received the memorandum, which was handed to him at the municipality offices.

Ndlela said he is aware of people’s concerns. He said as the municipality, they would take the memorandum to the relevant people who would then pass it on to Eskom.

“As the municipality, we purchase electricity from Eskom. We are fully aware of the concerns that have been tabled to us and we promise to look at them and revert to you.”

Community member Doreen Taylor­ said that as single parents and grandmothers, they are already struggling with electricity.

“An amount of R100 in prepaid electricity only lasts for five days. The proposed percentage is too much and we will not be able to afford it.

“Adding the 25,3% will be like carrying a heavy load on our back. Have they thought about that before they made that application? We are already struggling and we say no to the electricity increase,” said Taylor

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