What is going on at Eskom?

PUBLIC Enterprise Minister Barbara Hogan told Parliament recently that the days of cheap electricity are gone.

She said our electricity was the cheapest - and had been for some time - in the world.

To prove Hogan right Eskom has applied for a 45percent tariff increase from the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) for the next three years. This after it was granted a more than 20percent tariff increase.

Opposition political parties have expressed outrage at the request and so has Cosatu.

Though Eskom's request is unjustifiably high Nersa is likely to grant it - as it has done in the past.

In addition the electricity utility's ludicrous request has the government's backing.

The pertinent question is: will the poor be able to for such a high electricity tariff?

The answer is a resounding no and the government knows that.

So why is the government supporting Eskom's request?

Interestingly, Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga has been given a 26% wage increment. The electricity utility's board chairman has defended its decision in Parliament and said Maroga's wage increment would put him on par with other CEO's.

Last year,Eskom registered a loss but its top management received huge bonuses.

The same happened a year before.

If Eskom can afford to give Maroga a whopping 26% wage increment and pay huge bonuses why is it asking for such a huge tariff increment?

Thabile Mange, Kagiso