Eskom threatens to cut off 2 towns

2012-02-23 11:35
Johannesburg - The towns of Standerton and Morgenzon in Mpumalanga may soon be without electricity due to overdue electricity accounts.

Eskom informed several large companies over the past week that the towns may face a power cut.

The Lekwa municipality owes Eskom close to R12m after its September account ran up to R34m. Since then, the municipality has been struggling to pay off the electricity account.

One of the large companies in the area reliant on electricity is the Early Bird chicken farm.

An employee of the company confirmed on Wednesday that an Eskom official had informed them that power could be cut.

Although the company pays part of its electricity account directly to Eskom, power is also supplied to the company by the municipality.

“Each month we pay the total amount we owe to the municipality.”

Account being paid

Several smaller companies also confirmed they had been warned that electricity problems were coming their way.

Municipality spokesperson Sipho Mkwanazi confirmed on Wednesday that the council had problems with paying the electricity account.

“We were very far behind at one stage but are busy paying the account. We pay over money to Eskom on almost a daily basis as soon as cash flow is available.”

Mpumalanga’s department of co-operational government had to step in to prevent Eskom from cutting electricity to the towns in November last year.

“It was not only Eskom that wasn’t paid, but many other suppliers to the council. It doesn’t look like government is serious about helping the struggling municipality,” said DA councillor Rosier de Ville.

Eskom spokesperson Juanita Vogel said their communication with the municipality was confidential.

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