No Eastern Cape power cuts - MEC
Bloemfontein - The power supply to Steynsburg and Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape will not be cut, Eastern Cape Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said on Wednesday.
The department had been assured that the Gariep local municipality reached an agreement over its R5m debt with power utility Eskom on Wednesday.
Eskom informed residents this week that it would cut the power supply to the two towns after talks with the municipality failed.
Advertisements were placed in newspapers about the planned power cuts.
Qoboshiyane said the department had written a letter to Eskom assuring it that the department would monitor the municipality.
"Agreement has been reached to also make three equal monthly instalments starting from the end of March to the end of May 2012."
Qoboshiyane said Gariep's municipal manager and chief financial officer had assured the department the matter had been settled with Eskom, and that Thursday's planned cuts were not going ahead.
"We are glad that power will not be switched off. We congratulate both institutions for putting our people first and reaching an agreement on this."
On Wednesday, civil rights group AfriForum announced it would help the residents of the two towns file an urgent court application to stop Eskom from switching off the power.
AfriForum spokesperson Willie Spies said papers would be filed at the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown on Thursday.
He said Eskom gave residents notice on Tuesday that their power supply would be cut on Thursday.
The court would hear the application at 10:00 on Thursday.