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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Cosatu joins protest against Cape Towns electricity tariff hike

The City of Cape Town increased its electricity tariffs by 17.6%, higher than the country's energy regulator's 15.1% increase approval

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Western Cape including frustrated residents will be leading a protest in support of the High Electricity Tariffs Must Fall Movement at Cape Town Civic Centre on Saturday.

Cosatu said it will be joined by its alliance partners, civil society, political parties and ordinary citizens from across the city and province in the protest.

Cosatu Western Cape provincial secretary Malvern de Bruyn said they are joining the protest because of the city’s decision to increase its electricity tariffs by a massive 17,6% which is  above the 15,1% tariff set by the National Energy Regulator.

Disappointment, frustration and anger

De Bruyn said the city’s decision to increase the tariffs above the Nersa directive violates the provisions of Section 15 (2) of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006.

“We are going there in our numbers to express our disappointment, frustration and anger against this DA city of Cape Town.

“It is quite clear that the city doesn’t care about the working class, this city doesn’t care about the people of this province and this city, and this city doesn’t care about the poorest of the poor, so we are demanding that they comply with our demands,” De Bruyn said.

ALSO READ: Consumers paying the price as City of Cape Town snubs Nersa

De Bruyn said they will be demanding that the city reduce the electricity tariffs and comply with the Nersa decision.

“Failing that we will have to take have to take other action.”

Nersa hearings

During Nersa’s public hearings, the City of Cape Town said it needed the extraordinary increase due to lower sales, largely on the back of load shedding.

Earlier, the city also criticised Nersa for approving municipal tariffs so late in the municipal budget cycle.

Cape Town is one of only six municipalities that applied for increases of more than the Nersa guideline of 15.1%. The others were eThekwini, Msunduzi, Oudtshoorn, Swartland and Witzenberg.

ALSO READ: ‘Load shedding to continue at stage 3’ – Eskom announces

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