'It will cause people to steal electricity'

AFTER Eskom's proposed price hike of 31,3percent, Sowetan reporters took to the streets to find out what residents had to say.

AFTER Eskom's proposed price hike of 31,3percent, Sowetan reporters took to the streets to find out what residents had to say.

Xolani Simelane, a tuck shop owner in Diepkloof, Soweto, said: "I have to buy stock on a monthly basis and my profits are different. During winter my sales go down."

Simelane warned that it was unfair of Eskom to hike the rates drastically as this would lead a lot of people to stealing electricity.

"Many people in Soweto have lost their jobs and don't have money for basic things like bread. The rate hike will affect poor people the most," said Pat Mtembu.

Phillip Legodi said Eskom had the right to choose any rate they saw fit.

"It won't affect me or local business either because our rates are not that high."

Shakir Abdul said: "Eskom should be dissolved and leave electricity alone. People should just stop paying because on most days there is load-shedding in Diepkloof anyway."

Sannie Mabuza said: "As it is, I'm struggling. I can't afford much because my husband died and I only have my pension money to live on."

Clement Mareana said: "Nobody wants to hear of a rate hike in a recession. We're earning the same salary yet tariffs keep going up. Food is expensive and many people are unemployed and already in arrears."

But Mpumi Sidu said an increase was better than having load-shedding. He said the increase was welcome as long as it could solve the problems.

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