Jan 29, 2023

ANC KZN Threatens Legal Action Over Eskom Tariff Hike

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Mr Mtolo on Tuesday lauded Mr Ramaphosa’s intervention and pledged the ANC’s support.

FILE PHOTO: ANC KwaZulu Natal leadership are, from left, treasurer Ntuthuko Mahlaba, deputy secretary Sipho Hlomuka, secretary-general Bheki Mtolo, deputy chairperson Nomagugu Simelane and chairperson Siboniso Duma. PICTURE: Sandile Ndlovu

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JOHANNESBURG: ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is encouraging provincial municipalities to challenge Eskom’s  18.65% electricity tariff hike through the courts.

That is if the power utility fails to heed president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa’s call not to implement the power tariff increase granted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) earlier this month.

The provincial secretary, Mr Bheki Mtolo on Tuesday lauded Mr Ramaphosa’s intervention and pledged the ANC’s support.

“[We] support the ANC president’s call for Eskom to halt the implementation of the 18.65% tariff increase in April, failure of which, we call upon ANC-led municipalities together with members of the society to take this matter to the courts,” said Mr Mtolo.

The provincial executive committee (PEC), according to Mr Mtolo, also rejects a further 12.74% for the next year based on the following factors:

  • The negative economic conditions look set to impose hardships on millions of people in KZN
  • Rising electricity tariffs have heightened the public’s fears and anxiety
  • Confidence in the ANC government has been undermined
  • A growing number of forecasts have revealed rising food prices
  • Fuel prices are set to increase next week as announced by the Central Energy Fund yesterday. According to the fund, all fuel types except diesel will rise 
  • Salaries have not increased. In addition, many people are languishing at home in abject poverty as a result of the trail of destruction left by Covid-19 and devastating floods.

Mr Ramaphosa spent the day with the PEC on Monday in a “frank and robust” discussion. 

Some of the discussions focused on long-lasting solutions to the challenges of load-shedding, the collapse of water infrastructure and the high rate of unemployment. The PEC and the president shared ideas for a visible action that moves the province beyond these challenges, including holding their deployees to account.

“We must hasten to point out that the participation of the president in the PEC was aimed at instilling the culture of accountability by leaders elected by the structures. 

“We want to entrench this culture in the regions and branches, ANC deployees must be held accountable by the structures and communities for their actions on inability to act,” Mr Mtolo explained. 

To achieve this, the provincial secretary said the monitoring and service delivery unit in the Presidency and in the Office of the Premier will continuously make reports available to ensure that targets are met. 

“Underexpenditure and the return of money to the National Treasury will not be tolerated. In this regard, we support the ANC president’s commitment to ensure that a senior official in the presidency is assigned to monitor underspending to ensure that funds are not returned to the Treasury,” he added.

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