By Karabo Rammutla
Members of the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) have vowed not to leave the electricity regulator’s offices until their demands are met.
The party has been occupying the offices of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in Tshwane for the past three days to express their displeasure with the 18.65% budget increase Nersa gave to Eskom. Azapo wants the increase to be reversed unconditionally.
They say the increase will lead to dire consequences for electricity consumers.
Azapo deputy president, Kekeletso Khena, said they have declared a sit-in until the increase is set aside.
“We are disgusted by the 18.65% approval of the electricity tariff increase granted to Eskom by the energy regulator as South Africans continue to suffer rising costs of living while the country has been plunged into total darkness since the start of the year,” she told Scrolla.Africa.
Khena said although they met with Nersa’s representatives and discussed the background to the genesis of the 18.65% tariff hike, they will not budge.
“Nersa indicated they were forced by two court orders – in December 2021 and June 2022 – to accede to Eskom’s request. Azapo sees Eskom’s ‘request’ as nothing less than an unreasonable and unjustified demand,” she said.
Khena said Nersa’s decision was reactionary.
“It comes at the time when Eskom’s failure to produce reliable electricity has collapsed the country’s economy, resulting in lower productivity levels, a rise in unemployment, and increased food prices. Eskom has literally made South Africans poorer and worsened the socio-economic situation in the country and yet they want an increase.”
Azapo member Gaontebale Nodoba claimed Nersa’s loss in court implies collusion with Eskom.
Nodoba added that the taxpayer cannot be punished for the “indiscretion of unethical leaders who at every given opportunity flout values of corporate governance”.
Nersa seems destined for more protests as the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) is planning to descend on the regulator’s offices on Friday.
Pictured above: Members of Azapo are picketing at Nersa’s offices in Tshwane
Image source: Karabo Rammutla