South Africa: Parliament Is Not in Arrears With Eskom

Reports that Parliament owes Eskom R17 000 are erroneous.

"It was incorrectly stated on Tuesday at a meeting of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), during the presentation by the Deputy Director General of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Kevin Naidoo, that Parliament owes Eskom R17 000," said Parliament on Wednesday.

The information given to the committee was unfortunately erroneous as Parliament does not have any electricity account with Eskom, and thus cannot owe or be in arrears with the entity.

Parliament's buildings, which include the parliamentary precinct and villages that accommodate MPs in Cape Town, are under the management of the Department of Public Works.

Parliament highlighted that the department, not Parliament, is billed for electricity and other services of the parliamentary buildings.

"The inaccurate information given to the Parliamentary committee is concerning because, as an institution that conducts oversight over Eskom and is key to addressing the challenges currently confronting it, Parliament should not be amongst those contributing to the power utility's financial problems."

Parliament's leadership will interact with the committee to ensure that this unfortunate inaccuracy is corrected.

Rand West Municipality

Meanwhile, the power utility announced its decision to postpone supply interruptions to the Rand West Local Municipality.

"The High Court has issued an order restraining Eskom from interrupting the electricity supply in terms of section 21(5) of the Electricity Regulation Act and the Electricity Supply Agreement to the delinquent Rand West Local Municipality as contained in the public notice published on 16 October 2019," said Eskom on Thursday.

This after two Rand West Local Municipality customers took Eskom to court on the matter.

On 16 October 2019, Eskom issued a public notice calling on all affected parties to make submisions, comments or written representations indicating why the utility should or should not proceeed with its contemplated interruptions and disconnections to the supply of bulk electricity to the Rand West municipality.

The utility received a number of representations on the matter and was unable to make a final decision.

"As a result, Eskom had no option but to postpone its final decision to 4 December 2019 and issued a public notice to that effect."

However on Thursday, Eskom reminded affected parties that the 16 October 2019 notice "decision" is interdicted.

"Consequently, Eskom is unable to make its final decision as to whether or not it should interrupt the supply of electricity to the municipality. Eskom is in consultation with its lawyers to determine what course of action it should take regarding the interdict obtained against it," said Eskom's Gauteng Operating Unit Senior Manager for Customer Services, Daphne Mokwena.

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