STATEMENT BY MR BASIL MANUEL, CHAIRPERSON OF THE INDEPENDENT LABOUR CAUCUS, REGARDING ESKOM’S APPLICATION FOR ANOTHER TARIFF HIKE
The Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) added its voice to those of other public service unions in opposing Eskom’s application for another tariff hike. Speaking in Pretoria, Mr Manuel, Chairperson of the ILC, said that the ILC will not support the call for a 25% electricity tariff increase as it would compound the financial distress of the majority of South Africans.
Mr Manuel said that the recent fuel hikes have already had a ripple effect on transport, food and general cost of living that was passed on to consumers. If electricity tariffs continue to increase companies are bound to pass increases of commodities on to consumers, which would add to upward pressure on inflation.
The cost of electricity has increased by 70% since 2010, said Mr Manuel. Continued increases are unaffordable to households and especially for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and is likely to result in job losses, he added.
Mr Manuel stated that the proposed increase will over- burden the already highly indebted public servants who were resigning in large numbers to encash their pensions to service debt.
The ILC is also concerned about the negative impact the continued electricity tariff increases will have on pensioners, the unemployed and the poor, said Mr Manuel.
Mr Manuel stated that the ILC is of the view that if government was able to curb wasteful expenditure, it would be able to assist in providing the funding that ESKOM requires.
END OF STATEMENT
Enquiries: Mr Basil Manuel - 079 508 6228