South Africa: Eskom Threatens to Disconnect Power to a Third of Municipalities in Bid to Claw Back R31 Billion

Eskom's national control centre (file photo).

With total outstanding municipal debt sitting at R31 billion, Eskom is threatening to cut off electricity to a third of the municipalities across the country who've breached their contracts with the power utility.

Eskom plans on cutting off electricity to a third of the municipalities in the country who've breached the conditions of their supply contract, said Charles Hlebela, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (NERSA) spokesperson.

"Eskom shared a list of municipalities that it intends to disconnect for breach of Eskom supply contract. NERSA is not able to disclose the names of the municipalities but there are about 92 municipalities involved," Hlebela told Daily Maverick.

Eskom had not responded to queries at the time of publication.

Earlier, Hlebela had told Rapport newspaper that the breach of contracts which municipalities are guilty of included non-payment and exceeding the maximum electricity demand they agreed on.

This would not be the first time the power utility cuts off electricity for those who haven't been paying. Eskom has disconnected the electricity in the Walter Sisulu municipality in the Eastern Cape which, by the end of July, owed Eskom R1.3 billion.

Outstanding debt from municipalities has been a long-standing issue for...

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