JOHANNESBURG: THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) expressed disappointment at Eskom’s 12,5 percent once-off increase as approved by the National Energy Regulator (NERSA).
NERSA had previously announced it had allowed Eskom to recover about R7,8 billion for its “over-expenditure” over the 2010-2013 period.
“COSATU represents millions of underpaid workers who cannot afford such outrageous increases in the prices of basic services, which negate the good work the democratic government has done since 1994 in rolling out electricity and other basic services to millions of working people who had been denied access to such services by the evil system of apartheid,” COSATU National Spokesperson, Patrick Craven, said.
He expressed concern the approval was approved without broad consultation.
“The main problem with the decision is that its rules make it legal for NERSA not to always consult the stakeholders when allowing Eskom to recover losses.
“We call on the Department of Public Enterprises, as the shareholder of Eskom, to investigate if these claimed over-expenditures are not linked to the delays in the completion of some of the units of the Medupi power station due to shoddy workmanship by private-sector contractors,” said Craven.
The federation objected to NERSA’s awarding of Eskom an average of 25 percent tariff increase for the 2010-2013 period, given the negative impact high tariffs have on the workers and the poor in particular and the economy in general.
“This 12,5 percent decision is also a bad decision for the economy, which has only grown by a mere 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 and shed thousands of jobs in the same period,” said Craven.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY