‘High electricity costs’ spark off city protest plan

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‘We have submitted the necessary documents and we are certain that we will march on Saturday’
EAST London ratepayers and residents will march from the War Memorial to City Hall next Saturday to highlight grievances that centre around what they say is the high cost of electricity.

After multiple Facebook posts over the last three weeks, in which residents complained about high electricity tariffs in Buffalo City Metro, residents decided to take their grievances a step further. A petition was drawn up against the municipality regarding the high electricity tariffs, among other things.

A petition was signed by BCM ratepayers. It will be submitted tothe executive mayor, Xola Phakathi.
A petition was signed by BCM ratepayers. It will be submitted tothe executive mayor, Xola Phakathi.

The petition will be submitted to BCM and new executive mayor, Xola Phakathi , to provide answers to their questions that will be laid out in the notice to protest form.

At the time of going to print, more than 3000 people had already signed the petition.

Last week GO! reported (“Power struggle”, page 1) that hundreds of BCM residents took to Facebook to voice their frustration about the amounts they were paying for electricity. Different people from around the metro complained that for R100 worth of electricity, they were only receiving 52 units, which did not even last two days.

One of the lead activists, and the person who kicked off the Facebook debate some weeks ago, Giovanni Redcliffe, said their protest was official.

“We have submitted the necessary documents and we are certain that we will march on Saturday. There is so much that we need clarity on. The protest will focus on the high rates of electricity and the fact that a higher consumption tariff is used, when a lower tariff is available for households using less than 350 units per month.

“On the BCM website, only the higher tariff is advertised, why is that?” Redcliffe asked.

Among other grievances is the fire levy that appears only on BCM statements. “But it does not appear on other municipalities around the country,” he said.

Redcliffe said BCM residents and ratepayers also needed clarity on estimated water readings, poor service delivery and power outages.

“Everyone who is affected by this must join us. We need all the support we can get,” Redcliffe said.

The march starts at 10am.

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