Thaba Chweu faces power shutdown over R146 million Eskom bill

2013-10-14 16:32

More than 100 000 residents of Thaba Chweu in Mpumalanga face a power shutdown if the local municipality fails to pay a R146 million debt to Eskom before Wednesday.

The power utility issued an ultimatum that unless the long-standing debt was paid, the entire municipal area would be plunged into darkness, a Sapa correspondent reported today.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said: “The municipality has not communicated with us at all, and so far there have been no payments made.

“So, as it stands the power cut will be going ahead.”

He said the municipality would be left without power until the debt was paid.

The Thaba Chweu Local Municipality encompasses the tourist towns of Mashishing, Graskop and Sabie, and has a total population of just more than 100 000 people.

Phasiwe said: “We don’t enjoy doing this, but we expect customers to pay or at least come to us with an agreement discussing ways in which to negotiate payment.

“We are hoping that the municipality will communicate with us. Our door is always open.”

In September, the provincial government sent a municipal task team to Thaba Chweu to prevent what Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza described as “a total collapse”.

Read: Thaba Chweu’s weird spending

Thaba Chweu municipal spokesperson Surprise Maebela said that the municipality was struggling to gather payments from its own debtors.

“There are people who owe us money, but we are waiting to see what the results of the task team’s investigation will reveal.

“We are, however, confident that we will resolve this issue before the deadline.”

At the signing of a memorandum of understand with Eskom in Mbombela recently, Mabuza said that a team of nine MECs had been appointed to resolve the situation in Thaba Chweu.

“I understand Eskom’s point of view, because it is a business that needs to make money. I pay my rates and taxes, so why should I have to sit in darkness because of the municipality’s problems?”

Mabuza described the situation in Thaba Chweu as “very abnormal” and said the municipality had problems with its billing and revenue-collection systems.

“As provincial government, we are stepping in to assist and we assure Eskom that the debt will be paid.

“Everything is under control. There is no need to worry.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.