MPs call on Mantashe to step down over rising SA energy costs

MPs from all parties agreed that the country’s rising energy costs were unsustainable and straining South Africans.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Photo: @GwedeMantashe1/Twitter

CAPE TOWN — Members of parliament have said South Africans cannot cope with rising energy costs, with some calling for the resignation of Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

The National Assembly held two mini-plenaries to debate, among other things, the negative impact of the increase in the tariffs of electricity and other forms of energy.

Eskom is raising fares by 9.61%, with bigger fuel increases this week.

MPs from all parties agreed that the country’s rising energy costs were unsustainable and straining South Africans.

One such MP was shadow Democratic Alliance (DA) Minerals and Energy Minister Kevin Mileham who said the price of 95 octane petrol had risen by 44 % since January of last year.

“Mr. President, South Africa cannot afford to wait for another government talk shop, indaba or task force to solve the affordability crisis it is currently facing. If Mr. Mantashe is not up to the task of solving the problems of our energy sector, it has to go,” said Mileham.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Phiwaba Madokwe said the cost of living had become unbearable.

“The average South African household is earning less money after many job losses. The cost of living, especially for basic necessities such as electricity and other forms of energy, has become unbearable “, said Madokwe.

But Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Phumulo Masualle said Eskom operated in a regulatory environment and tariffs were determined by South Africa’s national energy regulator (Nersa).

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