Agricultural union TLU SA said on Thursday it was highly suspicious that Eskom, being dissatisfied with the rate increases approved by Nersa, suddenly instituted load shedding only days after commencing legal action against the electricity regulator.
“It is difficult not to conclude that there is subtle extortion being applied, especially considering the fact that this has occurred on a number of occasions previously when Eskom has been dissatisfied with Nersa’s decisions,” said TLU SA president Louis Meintjies.
He said consumers could be excused for believing that Eskom is using load shedding as a method to impose its will on consumers when rulings are taken against it.
“The organisation’s explanation that problems have been experienced since Saturday, while the country was unexpectedly subjected to load shedding without prior warning, is equally unacceptable,” Meintjies said.
He said correct irrigation scheduling during the crippling drought and current extreme temperatures was vitally important for farmers so that they could provide food for South African consumers. He added that farmers had been unilaterally denied the right of proper advance planning through Eskom’s “irresponsible and uncaring attitude”.
“I want to invite farmers who have suffered losses or damage as a result to contact TLU SA so that we can investigate appropriate action for reparations.
“Eskom has funds available to institute expensive legal action against Nersa, yet cannot afford essential maintenance and repairs. This is completely unacceptable and Eskom’s operational manager’s apology for the significant damage suffered by the country’s economy is not worth the paper it is written on,” Meintjies said.