Press release: Renewable energy can reduce electricity tariffs

Press release: Renewable energy can reduce electricity tariffs

For Immediate Release

Johannesburg, 16th, of March 2016- A group of women are set to demonstrate outside Eskom regional offices in Gauteng this Thursday, March 17, 2016 to call on government to decrease electricity tariffs. The demonstration is organised by Women Energy and Climate Change Forum (WECCF) which is a forum coordinated by Earthlife Africa Johannesburg.
The demonstration will take place from 10:00am to 13:00pm at 206 Smit Street, Braamfontein.

As part of the International Women’s Day they will be raising their voices on the impacts of the tariff hikes of 9.4% that NERSA has granted Eskom and also the impacts of the drought in the country that is affecting their livelihood.

“We are already facing a lot of challenges with drought causing floods, extreme weather, reduced food harvesting and water security,” says Nomalizo Xhoma, a Women in Energy and Climate Change Forum (WECCF) member.
“This affects the poorest and the most vulnerable groups hardest, women are being left out and now the government decides to increase electricity,” she says.

Women Energy and Climate Change Forum (WECCF) is a forum of representatives of women from grassroots community based organisations in and around Gauteng province who are faced with the impacts deriving from environmental, social and economic challenges relating from energy system and climate change in the country.

“We have renewable energy the energy that can save us from climate change and keep our environment clean and healthy unlike the fossil fuel that is contributing to climate change and making our lives difficult,” says Xhoma.
“We won’t be able to afford this electricity and this will make us more vulnerable to drought and cause more poverty in rural areas,” says Xhoma.

The women are also the primary beneficiaries of the “Sustainable use of natural resources to improve resilience in South Africa: A grassroots women’s project”. The European Union funded project is implemented by GenderCC Southern Africa and Earthlife Africa-JHB in partnership with Oxfam. One of the project’s long-term goals is to demonstrate to government that renewable energy is a viable and sustainable alternative to fossil-fuelled energy.

“We are advocating for renewable energy to be considered as it will help to reduce high electricity bills. The money they need to use for nuclear energy, they can use for renewable energy,” says Xhoma.
“If the government continues like this, we won’t be able to survive and we will get poorer,” she adds.
“Their priority is nuclear and it affects us, it is dangerous and it will destroy us,” says Martha Mokate WECCF member.

“We call on government to find ways of reducing the greenhouse emissions and to also consider providing us with free basic electricity,” says Xhoma.
ENDS

For more information contact:

Nomalizo Xhoma
Earthlife Africa JHB
Cell: 061 307 1754
noma@earthlife.org.za

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