Eskom tariff hike sparks voter anger ahead of polls

Published Apr 5, 2024


Eskom's latest price hike of 12.74% for its customers has people worried, especially with ongoing power cuts and rising bills.

This increase, effective from April 2024 to March 2025, adds to the stress many households and businesses are already facing. As elections approach, people are paying close attention to what political parties are saying about these issues and how they plan to handle them.

For many community members and small business owners, the tariff hike is a heavy blow.

“We are already struggling to remain open in the face of frequent power outages and increasing costs, so this hike will only make things tougher for us and our customers,” says Sipho Mkhabela, a shop owner operating in Orlando, Soweto.

“People are talking about it, and they are not happy,” says Thandiswa Mbatha, a business owner in Johannesburg’s CBD. “The constant power cuts and higher bills are hurting everyone,” she adds.

Soweto resident, Nomvula Khumalo is concerned about the impact the hikes will have on her family’s finances.

“Every month, it feels like we are barely scraping by with these higher tariffs, I don’t know how we will manage.

“It's making me doubt whether I want to vote for the current party because they don’t seem to be doing anything about it,” she says.

Political expert, Dr Levy Ndou highlights how important these obstacles can be in influencing voter opinions.

“Small businesses and community members are the backbone of our society. Their struggles with rising tariffs and unreliable electricity supply resonates deeply with voters,” he said.

As citizens weigh their options ahead of the elections, the ability of political contenders to offer viable solutions becomes paramount.

Many are looking for tangible commitments to address the energy crisis and alleviate the financial strain on both households and businesses.

"Politicians need to do more than just talk," insists Ndou.

"They must present concrete plans to tackle these issues and restore trust in the government's ability to deliver."

Community members and small businesses are looking to their elected officials for help and solace during this uncertain time.

Their voices at the polls will be crucial in determining how the country's energy destiny is shaped.

IOL News