South Africa: MPs Seek Answers - How Do You Recover R26 Billion Consumer Debt to Eskom?


At a presentation to Scopa on the municipal debt owed to Eskom and water boards, MPs were dissatisfied with the lack of any attempt to find a debt recovery solution by Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs and the South African Local Government Association.

R26-billion: that's how much Eskom is owed, but members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) were left with more questions than answers about how all this debt would be recovered.

"I thought that you would come here with practical examples [of how to recover the municipal debt], but when you leave us here you're leaving us in the dark," said ANC MP Mervyn Dirks.

Eskom representatives, South African Local Government Association (Salga) representatives and MPs debated the usefulness of switching off electricity and water as a way to force consumers to pay for their services. Some MPs argued that this would be unconstitutional.

"There are lots of issues [regarding recovering municipal debt] like constitutional issues, people interdicting [Eskom from switching electricity off] and we're incurring costs to produce and supply electricity. If you don't pay your debt Joshua Doore collects your bed," said Jabu Mabuza, the chairman and CEO of Eskom.

In November 2019, about...

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