Electricity hike: pensioners will have to dig deeper

Jasmine Uys, Alicedale

It’s unbelievable to think that up to the end of 1990 Eskom was so successful that it supplied most of Africa with electricity.

In 1994 Eskom was the cheapest supplier of electricity in the world and in 2001 Eskom won a prize in New York for the best electricity supplier. A far cry from what Eskom is today.

Not only are we constantly reminded to save electricity, electricity prices are unaffordable and we have constant load shedding.

So what went wrong? Why is Eskom since 2001 in such a bad state? And seeing as it’s a state-owned enterprise, what is the government doing to get Eskom back on track? That is besides bailing them out with billions of taxpayers’ hard-earned money!

Now in a time of lockdown where so many people lost their jobs, a devastating pandemic and where our economy is down the drain, we are hit with a huge electricity price increase of about 15%. Who will be able to afford electricity? Imagine, you buy food but can’t afford electricity to make the food.

Imagine a poor pensioner getting R1 860 and from that money they must pay R700 for electricity, about R400 for other municipal services (refuse collection, water, etc) – please tell me how much is left for food? And what if they still have medical expenses too?

Of course, for some people who get their fat cheque at the end of every month, it’s no problem at all, so why should they worry about the poor.