ISSUED BY NELSON RAMODIKE, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR MINERALS AND ENERGY
decision by Eskom to increase tariffs comes as a huge shock to consumers,
especially in rural areas and townships. It exposes the ANC's election promises,
of free electricity, as a hollow promise.
This tariff increase is not commensurate with consumer inflation rates. In fact,
tariff increases seem more profit-driven than service-orientated. In addition,
low standards and quality of services are common, especially in rural areas and
townships, with continuous breakdowns and power disruptions. Furthermore, there
are irregular and inaccurate meter readings that result in exorbitant bills that
are simply unaffordable.
This decision will have a negative impact on the investor environment and put
greater pressure on the manufacturing sector (a leading consumer of
electricity), leading to price increases in goods and higher inflation. These
effects will inevitably be passed on the consumer, the poor. The UDM calls on
the Minister of Minerals and Energy to intervene. Government should give urgent
attention to alternative energy solutions, instead of hard-pressed consumers
with additional expenses.
Nelson Ramodike, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Minerals and Energy
082 - 973 6288
10 May 2001