13 September 2017

South Africa: Eskom Postpones Power Cuts to Debt-Ridden Municipalities

Eskom has rescheduled electricity interruptions to three Eastern Cape municipalities following non-payment of their bills.

The power utility had planned the pending interruptions of bulk electricity to the municipalities of Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu and Inxuba Yethemba for today. However, the interruptions have been rescheduled for Friday.

This is to allow the municipalities additional time to make adequate payment or to table firm debt settlement proposals to Eskom.

Over the last few days, Eskom has been engaging the municipalities and the provincial government regarding the pending interruptions.

"We are still hopeful that we will be able to find mutually acceptable solutions before Friday, 15 September. We firmly believe that the interruption of supply to any customer for non-payment is always the option of last resort and we will continue to engage the municipalities over the next two days in an attempt to avert the supply interruptions," said Eskom.

Last month, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen said several municipalities were complying with the arrangements made with Eskom to settle their electricity debt.

The Minister said this when he briefed media after President Jacob Zuma convened a meeting with political office bearers from all three spheres of government - Ministers, Premiers and Mayors - at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.

According to figures provided by the Presidency after the meeting, 58 municipalities owe the power utility R7.5 billion.

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