Soweto residents are calling for a flat rate of R200 per month for electricity, saying they cannot afford anything more.
Speaking to ENCA, community leader Michael Mosiuoa said many Soweto residents are pensioners who cannot afford high electricity prices.
“We are proposing a flat rate of R200 per month. The people of Soweto are prepared to pay. They have never made the mistake of not paying,” he said.
The call for a flat rate for electricity is not new. Last year, Soweto residents said they want to pay Eskom a flat rate of R150 per month for electricity and want their debt scrapped.
In February 2020, the late City of Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo led a march to Eskom’s offices to hand over their memorandum of demands.
The march followed Eskom’s decision to disconnect numerous areas in Soweto because of non-payment, including Mapetla, Rockville, White City, Central Western Jabavu, and Dlamini.
These disconnections formed part of an initiative by Eskom to cut power to households that fail to pay their electricity bills or that have illegal connections.
The latest call for a flat rate for electricity in Soweto comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa promised residents their electricity issues would soon be resolved.
Ramaphosa faced protests during a recent ANC campaign in Soweto, where people complained about regular electricity outages.
Nomzamo informal settlement residents told the president they had no electricity for over two years.
In response to these complaints, Ramaphosa promised that Eskom would soon start to resolve the electricity problems in Soweto.
He highlighted that some residents who pay for electricity are cut off along with non-paying households, which is an injustice.
“Eskom should be able to control their own workings and establish who is paying and who is not paying,” Ramaphosa said.