Congress of the People is perplexed that South Africans are calmly accepting a thoroughly abnormal situation as normal. What is going on at Eskom is not normal at all. Alarmingly, Eskom is asking for a hike of 26% before the end of May on top of the 12.5% already granted.

With load shedding for the next few years and higher electricity prices, businesses will flounder and cost of living will escalate rapidly. Everyone will feel, not merely a pinch but a sharp bite.

The people of Soweto owe Eskom four billion rand in unpaid bills. They are revolting against the installation of prepaid meters. There are no dark forces behind the protest. Eskom is putting electricity out of the reach of people.

Soweto foreshadows what will happen in the whole of South Africa as the price of electricity soars. What the ruling party’s failed policies and meddling spawned, is going to spawn mass revolt.

People simply cannot afford the high tariffs. The majority of people do not have enough money to make ends meet. Millions are unemployed. Pensioners cannot extend their meagre grants any further.

Worker demands for big pay hikes are the other side of the coin.

COPE reiterates that the ruling party and Eskom are dragging South Africa down. Eskom is asking the nation to butter the bread on both sides with big bail outs on the one hand and big tariff hikes on the other.

The solution is to sell 51% of Eskom to the private sector.

If we do not act in time, a fate similar to that of the people of Greece awaits us. Thabo Mbeki had his faults, but he knew a thing or two about managing the economy. The ruling party at present is clueless.

Statement issued by:

Issued by Dennis Bloem on behalf of COPE, Dennis Bloem is COPE’s national spokesperson

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