South Africa: Karoo Towns Willowmore, Steyterville and Jansenville in the Dark As Municipality Can't Pay R12-Million Electricity Bill

analysis

Eskom has implemented extensive power cuts in three Karoo towns falling under the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality after the municipality failed to adhere to a payment plan to cover R127-million in debt to the power utility. The municipality was expected to go to court this week to ward off even longer power cuts, lasting up to 14 hours a day, as Eskom plans to ramp up pressure.

Three Karoo towns are facing daily power outages of more than six hours after the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality failed to adhere to a payment plan to cover its R127-million debt to Eskom. The municipality cannot afford the R12-million monthly payment, according to the mayor, Deon de Vos, who was locked out of his office in Willowmore on Monday by angry residents. Earlier this year the municipality stated in a presentation to Parliament that its monthly bill for salaries was R13-million.

Willowmore, Steyterville and Jansenville are now without electricity daily from 6am to 9am and again from 5pm to 8.30pm, with cuts of 14 hours at a time to be implemented by next week if no agreement can be reached.

In a statement, De Vos said the municipality had experienced financial...

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