ANC: Statement by Jackson Mthembu, African National Congress spokesperson, on the electricity tariff hikes (21/01/2010)

21st January 2010

The African National Congress (ANC) would like to reiterate its concern at the effect Eskom's proposed 35 percent electricity tariff increase for a three-year period, will have on the majority of South Africans who will find it hard to afford. We remain convinced that the Eskom proposal to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) will not assist South Africa's economic growth, especially its recovery from the recent economic recession.
The ANC is of the view that many South Africans - the majority of whom are poor and unemployed - have not fully recovered from the effects of global recession. Taking this into account, the ANC will engage with all stakeholders concerned on this matter -particularly NERSA - to act in the interest of the consumers and not put the burden of the recapitalisation of the energy industry on poor consumers. This approach should include "among others" how we recapitalise our energy industry without burdening the South African consumer. We also believe that such a holistic and comprehensive approach should cover other available options for a future energy-funding model.
This has been and remains our stance, which also includes a call to Eskom and all energy industry players to come up with a holistic and comprehensive approach to energy provisioning in South Africa. Among others, this should focus on the energy mix options, including green energy.
Such a holistic and comprehensive approach should also include sustainable energy provisioning in the country. Exploring other energy sources such as green energy should also be examined in addressing the energy challenges we face.
Had the opposition parties shown decency to read our earlier statement on the matter, they would not have come to a very absurd and wrong conclusion on the ANC stance regarding the matter.
Any matters that the opposition - particularly the Democratic Alliance (DA) - would like to know regarding Chancellor House and any other South African company, they would be best advised to approach it directly. It can only be appropriate for the DA and other opposition parties to direct their queries and questions to the company concerned.
In relation to Chancellor House, we would like to remind the DA that this company is registered in terms of the Companies Act and has a board, CEO and staff who will be able to respond to whatever queries anyone might have.