2 minute read
3 Oct 2014
6:10 pm

UPDATE: Free State power supply to stay on

Three Free State municipalities will no longer receive electricity supply from Eskom until they make a plan to pay back their R736 million debt, the power utility said on Thursday.

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

Ngwathe, Dihlabeng and Maluti-a-Phofung municipalities’ power supply would be cut off at noon on Friday, spokesman Anthony Stott said.

“Not only have they not come up with a plan in the next six to 18 months, the problem is they also haven’t been paying their current bills.”

He said from July, some of the municipalities’ bills were either paid partially, or not at all.

The power supply would remain suspended until the municipalities came up with a payment plan that was agreeable with the utility.

“It is a last resort for Eskom. We have had agreements with other municipalities.”

He said Eskom gave the municipalities notices in May, and that interventions and negotiations had been taking place between the provincial government and the utility since then.

Stott said there had been agreements to postpone the suspension to August 31, and then again to September 30.

“There have been a lot of ongoing negotiations,” Stott said.

The Democratic Alliance said it could not allow paying residents to be held responsible and threatened with suspension of services because of the incompetence of the municipalities.

“We are in the process of obtaining a legal opinion on measures we could take to prevent the disconnection of electricity supply by Eskom,” DA MPL James Letuka said in a statement.

He said the province, under the premiership of Ace Magashule, was heading towards a severe financial crisis.

“Unless the provincial government adopts and implements urgent measures the province could see itself placed under administration,” Letuka said.

UPDATE:

Electricity supply to three Free State municipalities which owe power utility Eskom R736 million will stay on, AfriForum said on Friday.

“We welcome this decision and the arrangement between Eskom and the municipalities,” spokesman Cornelius Els said in a statement.

“It’s time that municipalities accept responsibility.”

He said Eskom had made the arrangement following discussions with various role players, including AfriForum and the involved municipalities, on condition that the municipalities paid their debt monthly.

Sapa