Eskom’s proposed 15% price increase is bound to place electricity out of reach for many South Africans and further promote the wealthy to move away from Eskom generated power, and further encourage the poor into the growing psyche of non-payment for exorbitant services.
As it stands more than 3 million people in South Africa do not have access to electricity and OUTA estimates that many more will most likely fall off the grid, or refuse to pay, due to its unaffordability.
Over and above the 4% approved in the RCA “claw-back” agreement NERSA implemented upon earlier this year, Eskom is now asking for an additional 15% price hike. That’s close to a 20% increase in one year.
OUTA is pushing back and here is why:
- Eskom’s productivity decreased by 32% while its head count went up by 51% from 2016 to 2017.
- Eskom has over inflated its asset base skewing the rationale for further revenue increases. (394% increase from 2007 to 2017)
- Eskom has not held past transgressors accountable for wasteful expenditure and has a history of poor debt collection.
Remember electricity reduces poverty, improves health, increases productivity and improves standards of living. But it must remain affordable – it’s a basic human right.