THE latest stepped electricity tariff system is grossly unfair and unbalanced, let alone immoral and borderline illegal, not to mention unjust. It was a unilateral decision taken by incompetent officials trying to rake in money from the able, to make up for the losses incurred by the masses who are not paying for services.
In the present tight economic situation, where more and more families are living under one roof to make ends meet, the electricity bill will be higher than the 600kw average someone pulled out of the hat. We as consumers need to be paying for what we use and should not be subsidising others who refuse to pay and continue to steal electricity with illegal connections.
Eskom sells electricity to the municipality that is manipulating prices as it has a monopoly on the service. You or I do not have the freedom to purchase electricity from another vendor at a competitive price.
We are also barred from purchasing electricity in bulk. This excessive control is punishing the payers as opposed to the non-payers, grossly unfair.
If I had three vehicles I could top up my fuel tanks before the price increase to save a few pennies, but we are not allowed to do this with electricity. As consumers we have rights and it is time to stand up for them.
The electricity tariff system needs to be revised on a linear basis. The present exponential system is daylight robbery.
Households with more than six people will struggle to conserve below the 600kw margin unless they opt not to wash. If the municipality is prepared to donate solar geysers to all South Africans things may improve slightly.
Our freedom to plan and budget our own electricity consumption has been removed from us, leaving us with no choice.
I believe the system requires a review to address its present unfairness. Failure to do so may lead to more and more people becoming angry, leading to a possible boycott of paying rates and taxes.
Not enough research was done to arrive at a fair formula for the scale of tariffs. In my case my monthly electricity bill is more than 50% of my take-home pay after deductions and expenses, something never looked at by officials when they thumb-sucked a tariff. The only option I have is to switch off and live in darkest Africa.
Rego Burger, Port Elizabeth