Executive Mayor of Stellenbosch Advocate Gesie van Deventer, on Monday (16 January), rejected outright the electricity price hike by Eskom saying it is unfair and unjust.
“On behalf of the residents of the Stellenbosch municipal area I reject in the strongest possible terms Eskom’s National Energy Regulator of South Africa-approved electricity price hike of 18,6%. This enormous price increase is unaffordable and unfair. We reject this increase outright.
“Our residents, and in particular our small and medium businesses, simply cannot afford these continuous price increases. As with most South Africans, many residents and businesses are already struggling to make ends meet.”
Van Deventer said communities were also struggling to keep businesses open, with Stage-6 blackouts implemented by Eskom, adding that on most days, communities are left without electricity for eight to 12 hours a day, and the situation is not expected to improve in the short term.
“South Africans are constantly being expected to pay more for electricity while receiving less and less of it,” she said. “Our residents will now be expected to pay even more exorbitant prices for electricity they simply do not get. South Africans are rightfully tired of having to foot the bill for years of corruption and mismanagement at Eskom.”
Van Deventer said any increase should be in line with the consumer price index (CPI). “A 18,6% increase is outrageous and unjust, especially given the fact that we are in the midst of the worst load shedding on record.
She said: “As a municipality we are well on track in terms of our timelines to co-generate electricity to protect our communities from Eskom’s load shedding. This includes the installation of solar panels on municipal properties, the acquisition of more generators, of UPS batteries at all municipal traffic lights and the fast-tracking of private solar panel applications, among others. The municipality will release more detailed timelines and information on its progress in the coming weeks.”