The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken action against the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA) decision to grant Eskom unaffordable tariff increases.
In a statement on Tuesday, DA leader John Steenhuisen announced that the party had instructed their lawyers to approach the High Court for an urgent interdict to halt these electricity hikes.
The increases include 18.65% for the 2023/24 financial year and a further 12.74% for the 2024/25 financial year.
This comes in the midst of a worsening energy crisis in South Africa and the ongoing and repeated decisions to implement load shedding.
Steenhuisen said that South Africans already have to bear the burden of indefinite Stage 6 load shedding and now they are expected to pay for the looting and mismanagement of Eskom through exorbitant tariffs.
He further added that it was time to take the government head-on and challenged them for their lack of response to the biggest crisis our country has faced in the history of our democracy.
“We have instructed their lawyers to apply to the High Court for an interdict against the implementation of the tariff increase. We have asked the court to declare Nersa’s decision of January 12, 2023 and the ongoing and repeated decisions to implement load shedding as inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.”
The DA also wants the court to direct the government to file, within 30 days, a comprehensive plan, including short-term, medium-term and long-term steps, to avert the energy crisis.
“Electricity tariffs have increased more than 650% since 2007, which is quadruple the inflation rate over the same period. This steep rise in electricity prices has made it even more difficult for people to afford utilities. It is thus clear that the DA is acting in the best interests of the citizens of South Africa by seeking an interdict against the implementation of exorbitant tariffs,” added Steenhuisen.