• Inside Labour

    The 'casualisation' of the workforce is often a ploy to cut costs, says Terry Bell.

  • When drones go dancing

    Drone technology's future is about to come to life in Cape Town, says Arthur Goldstuck.

  • Testing times for Matona

    New Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona has his work out cut out for him, says Mzwandile Jacks.

Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

35 000 jobs on line over Eskom hikes

Jan 17 2013 18:21 Sapa
eskom

Electricity pylons in Beaufort West. Nersa is holding public hearings on Eskom's proposed revenue price determination. (Picture: Chris Kirchhoff/MCSA)

Related Articles

Eskom hikes may devastate sugar industry

Eskom price hikes unaffordable

Eskom: Tariff hikes the only way

Eskom must be sustainable - CEO

Civil society to challenge Eskom hikes

Disruption mars Eskom hearing

 
Durban - As many as 35 000 people in the sugar cane industry could lose their jobs if Eskom is granted a 16% electricity increase, the SA Cane Growers' Association said on Thursday.

The increase could result in the closure of four mills, the association's financial affairs director Thomas Funke said at a public hearing held by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) in Durban.

He said the sugar cane industry made R10bn a year and employed 350 000 people.

There would be a 19.4% loss of income in the industry if the increase was granted. It would also have a dramatic effect on food security.

"We believe the increase is not appropriate and not affordable. A double digit increase will have serious impact on net returns."

Funke said an increase higher than inflation was not possible for the association to digest.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA president Cedric Gcina warned that an electricity increase would negatively affect industries and the poor.

In his submission, he highlighted the impact the increase would have on the smelting industry.

Gcina said that in a snap survey in November, 10 energy intensive companies indicated to Numsa that electricity accounted for 37.04% of their operating costs.

The survey revealed that with the proposed electricity price increase, operating costs would increase by on average 6.83% a year, and that as a result, two-thirds of the smelting companies may have to close down. Gcina said one company indicated it would retrench workers.

Congress of SA Trade Unions KwaZulu-Natal secretary Zet Luzipho said Eskom wanted to operate like a private company whose main objective was to make a profit.

"Eskom must operate according to developmental objectives of the country and not like a profit-thirsty monster it has become."

He said the proposed increase would result in hikes of 110%, which would cause high unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Most families in the country were responsible for supporting three to eight members, and most of these families lived below the bread-line on R10 a day, he said.

Luzipho said it could not be correct that people had to brace themselves for poverty every time Eskom wanted to expand.

More than 100 people picketed at the International Convention Centre where the hearing was held.

A group from the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and members of Numsa sang struggle songs, demanding to be allowed in.

Protesters carried placards reading: "stop Eskom price increase", "poor to pay for Eskom bad planning", and "why is government silent?".

Pensioner Joseph Harker, from Wentworth, said he paid R800 a month for electricity and that the R40 annual increase to his pension would not cover the proposed hike.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

eskom  |  electricity tariffs
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
57 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

Expanding your business requires capital and banks have stringent lending criteria in place.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...