This warning came from trade unions across South Africa in a joint statement that further highlights the fundamental problem of a state electricity supplier like Eskom who currently has a monopoly on power supply that hampers healthy competition and leads to unnatural price hikes.
Trade union Solidarity’s metal industry head, Marius Croucamp, said at the conference that the metal and engineering industry would simply not be able to absorb the electricity tariff increase. “Due to various reasons input costs have risen lately while commodity prices are increasingly unstable. The said factors have already impacted on the industry in the form of retrenchments, short time and losses. The proposed tariff increases will be a major setback for the metal and engineering industry in particular,” Croucamp said.
Piet le Roux, head of the Solidarity Research Institute, said the “when Nersa announces a new tariff, it leaves the South African public with no other choice but to accept the deal: if they want electricity, they have to accept it. The result of the monopolistic structure of electricity supply in South Africa is that it has become virtually impossible to supply electricity competitively. The government should welcome independent power generation in these uncertain times; it should not have legislation against it in place,” Le Roux said.