9 June 2009 - Eskom has applied for a 34% tariff increase, arguing that the money is needed for the investment the company is making in infrastructure development.

However, there is a lot of opposition to this move and critics have said the size of the increase, and the fact that it is all in one hit, is unrealistic, especially given the decline in electricity demand Eskom is currently experiencing.

Said Cosatu industrial policy co-ordinator, Jonas Mosia: “Electricity production by Eskom, consumption and distribution to provinces declined by 7.2%, 5.5% and 7.4% respectively for the first quarter of 2009, compared to the first quarter of 2008.”

Mosia continued that “more than 208,000 jobs have been lost due to the financial crisis. Poor households would bear the burden of high electricity tariffs.”