Municipality strikes deal with Eskom to keep the lights on

2013-03-13 15:59

Eskom will not cut off power to the Matlosana (Klerksdorp) municipality in North West, a spokeswoman has said.

“Yes, there was an outcome to the talks. An agreement was reached with Eskom,” municipal spokeswoman Ntswaki Makgetha said.

“The public should not stress. There won’t be any switching off of electricity tomorrow.”

The municipality’s mayor Michael Khauoe said it had made a payment on its electricity bill.

“We have honoured the first part of the agreement by paying R47 million this morning,” he said.

“We will be paying the balance of the amount at the end of this month.”

It was reported Eskom planned to cut the municipality’s power tomorrow unless it paid R91 million in arrears. The parastatal and the municipality were in talks this morning about the unpaid electricity account.

Cutting the power was a last resort, Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe was quoted as telling Beeld.

Khauoe said the municipality would give priority to the Eskom account.

Earlier, Afriforum said it would bring an application in the High Court in Pretoria today to compel the municipality to honour its commitments to Eskom and to maintain electricity supply in the municipality.

Afriforum lawyer Willie Spies said the court action would go ahead despite the “alleged settlement”.

“We will still be in court. We now want the court to endorse this alleged agreement that has been reached, so there is some officiality (sic) in it,” he said.

“I am a bit concerned. What if there is no payment, then what?“

Spies said the initial notice of the power cut was not fair to taxpayers who had paid their bills on time. It was not the residents’ fault that the municipality had failed to pay its account, he said.

Khauoe said the municipality had no dealings with Afriforum and that an agreement was reached with Eskom alone.

“We have not spoken to Afriforum. We have no business with them.”

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