Power hikes 'bad for farmers'

2010-01-14 22:12
Bloemfontein - Free State farmers and rural communities could face a crisis if Eskom's proposed tariff hikes are granted, Free State Agriculture said in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

The group's main concern was "farm profitability" and employment in the sector, it's president, Louw Steytler, said at hearings into Eskom's proposed tariff hike.

The hearings were organised by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Eskom wanted a 35% price hike each year for the next three years.

"This is critically important. The production of maize and wheat could cease to be profitable."

Economic activity in rural areas


If a crop became unprofitable, farmers would not plant it, he told the panel.

"The only economic activity in rural areas is agricultural."

Steytler called the Free State the "bread basket of South Africa" as far as maize and wheat production were concerned.

In addition small-scale farmers would not survive these increases, he warned.

The only other presentation was made by Cosatu in the province, which also came out strongly against the proposed increase.

Free State Cosatu secretary Sam Mashinini urged Nersa's panel to, "this time" take its presentation seriously. Mashinini said the union federation's presentation in 2009 was not taken seriously and Eskom's hike was granted.

Job creation will be affected

Nersa CEO Smunda Mokoena later questioned this remark and wanted to know if Mashinini knew what Nersa's role was. Mashinini said it was to look at all sides of the matter.

It was time "the majority of the people in the country be heard", because the last time "the impression we had was that only one side (Eskom's) was listened" to, he said.

The increase would affect job creation and destroy small and medium businesses in the province, Cosatu feared.

Furthermore, low-income households would go for substitute "dirty" energy sources because they would not be able to afford power.

Referring to the mining areas such as Welkom, where job losses were already high due to the global economic crisis, Mashinini said huge power increases would have a devastating effect.
 

- SAPA
Read more on:    nersa  |  eskom  |  agriculture
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.