City of Cape Town rallies at Civic Center against rising electricity prices

City of Cape Town rallies at Civic Center against rising electricity prices

Over the weekend, a gathering of a few hundred individuals, including representatives from political parties and civic organizations, convened outside Cape Town’s Civic Centre to express their discontent with the exorbitant electricity rates.

The organizers argue that the City of Cape Town has taken a strong stance in favor of the public and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), implementing a substantial 17.6% hike in electricity tariffs for the current fiscal year, as reported by SABC.

The protest in Cape Town centers on the electricity tariff issue primarily due to its perceived unlawfulness. The demonstrators are demanding electricity rates that are based solely on affordability. Natasha Gertse, spokesperson for the Electricity Prices Must Fall campaign, clarified their position by stating, “People are struggling, and the DA [Democratic Alliance] isn’t prioritizing their suffering. We are contesting the unlawful electricity tariffs to prioritize people and their circumstances.”

The City of Cape Town contends that its electricity tariff adheres to the Council tariff approved under the Municipal Finance Management Act. Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis emphasized that Cape Town provides the most protection from Eskom’s 18.6% tariff increase for households in financial distress throughout South Africa. He added that Cape Town is the only metropolitan area that has reduced tariffs for lifeline electricity customers this year. He noted that households with a property value under R500,000 or with a family income under 7,500 pay the lowest electricity rates in Cape Town compared to all other cities in the country.

The protestors have given the City a one-week deadline to respond to their memorandum, or they plan to hold another demonstration. Hundreds of people, including members of political groups and community organizations, gathered outside Cape Town’s Civic Centre to voice their opposition to the elevated electricity tariffs over the weekend