Court order prevents Eskom from interrupting power supply to Rand West Municipality

In October, the DA wrote to Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, to request that the ANC-led municipality be placed under partial administration. File image: iStock

The municipality, which owes Eskom R235,621,979, will have lights on this Christmas, but its future power supply remains uncertain.

A high court order has ordered Eskom to stop interrupting electricity supply to the embattled Rand West Local Municipality, the power utility said in a statement on Thursday.

Two customers from the municipality took Eskom to court after a public notice was issued on October 16. The notice called on all affected parties to make submissions on why Eskom should not disconnect bulk electricity supply to the municipality.

Many responded to the notice, resulting in Eskom being unable to make a final decision in October, and postponed its decision to Wednesday.

“The final decision would have considered all the representations/comments it received from the affected parties. Eskom is in consultation with its lawyers to determine what course of action it should take regarding the interdict obtained against it,” explained Gauteng operating unit senior manager for customer services, Daphne Mokwena.

Eskom added that this was the first time the utility has been taken to court and had an order obtained against it before it was able to make a final decision in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act as to whether electricity supply to the area should be cut off or not.

“Eskom still encourages the affected parties to put pressure on the municipality to meet its constitutional, statutory and contractual obligations and make good on the repayment of the electricity debt,” the statement concluded.

In October, the DA wrote to Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Lebogang Maile, to request that the ANC-led municipality be placed under partial administration.

This after service delivery “totally collapsed”, said MP Jacques Julius, adding that the municipality also faced poor leadership, mismanagement and mounting debt challenges.

At the time, the municipality owed Eskom R235,621,979 for the supply of bulk electricity, Randfontein Herald reported.

The power utility’s decision at the time was to roll out mass power cuts due to escalating debt.

(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)

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