SATU Western Cape condemns the City of Cape Town’s outrageous implementation of an unapproved electricity tariff increase

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is shocked by the decision of the City of Cape Town to audaciously increase the electricity tariffs to 17, 6%, while the National Energy Regulator has approved a 15,1 % increase. This unilateral increase is against the provisions of Section 15 (2) of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006.

This is a direct attack and insult against the working class and the poorest of the poor and it is another example that this City is not working for our people.

Residents are already being suffocated by the current charges. Paired with the high cost of living, this increased tariff structure will make it impossible for our people to keep their heads above water. The working class, who can’t even survive on their current income, is the biggest loser. We condemn the City of Cape Town’s inhumane decision to increase the tariffs above the 15,1% set by NERSA.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) investigated the City of Cape Town in 2019 for very same transgression. The City’s attitude is a clear indication that they view themselves as above the law. This is not acceptable. COSATU calls on the outcomes of the 2019 investigation to be released publicly and for NERSA to be transparent about the seemingly autonomous behavior displayed by the City of Cape Town.

In the meantime, COSATU will file a formal complaint with NERSA to investigate the City`s latest unlawful electricity increases and tariff structure. As the Federation, we commit to closely monitor this process and plan to discuss the matter at our Provincial Executive Committee Meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday 27 July 2023, which could result in a possible mass action against the City of Cape Town.

We will also mobilize Civil Society, Alliance Structures, Political Parties, Federations and the public in general to support us in this campaign.

This is also a blatant infringement on the rights of the City’s residents. We hence call on the Human Rights Commission to investigate this matter and put an end to the City’s ill-conceived practices.

Issued by COSATU Western Cape

For questions, please call Malvern De Bruyn on – 060 977 9027

                                      Motlatsi Tsubane on – 074 482 6180