Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, the City of Johannesburg, City Power, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the Minerals Council SA and the DA are united in their opposition to Eskom’s application for an electricity tariff hike, a National Electricity Regulator of SA (Nersa) panel heard in Soweto on Friday. They say it will punish law-abiding citizens, cripple the poor and working class, and sound the death knell for mining. In his submission to the panel, which is conducting public hearings on Eskom’s application for a 15.5% annual increase over the next three years, Mashaba said 45.2% of Johannesburg’s residents live below the poverty line. At least 900,000 residents are unemployed and the economic growth outlook stands at 1.7%. Inflation is expected to average 4.8% in 2019, 5.3% in 2020 and 4.8% in 2021. “Given this context what is being proposed is unacceptable. If Nersa grants Eskom’s request of 15%, per year, over the next three years, the compound tariff increa...

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