As the debate surrounding Eskom's tariff hikes heat up, activists took to the streets in front of the Eskom offices in Braamfontein in protest of the controversial increases.
About 100 members of Earthlife Africa and the Gender Forum on Energy and Climate Change chanted "Eishkom" and "voetsek Eskom, voetsek". The crowd consisted mainly of women and they dance and sang while Eskom simply shut its doors.
The demonstration came after Earth Life launched its report, "Free Basic Electricity: A Better Life for All" which argues that all South Africans should receive 200kW free electricity on a monthly basis.
Some more facts regarding the controversial subject:
- Poor households qualify for 50kWh free electricity monthly.
- The report conducted by Earthlife argues that the prepaid metering system is not ideal since using numerous appliances at the same time tends to trip the current because of the low amperage the prepaid system uses.
- According to the report, the unit cost of electricity is higher for consumers who make use of the prepaid meter. The report states that it is prepaid users pay "72c/kWh compared to metered customers who pay approximately 59c/kWh".
The price hike by Eskom has been a sensitive subject amongst South Africans and Earth Life's report argues that a small levy on large energy users like mines, factories and other big businesses would help fund free basic electricity.
South Africans can do nothing but accept their fate and do what they can in order to survive the price hike. Plan your monthly budget and save where you can to avoid getting into a mountain of debt.