Debt leads to outages

2018-02-28 06:02

The Tokologo Local Municipality’s failure to honour its payment agreement with Eskom has led to the interruption of bulk supply to three towns – Boshof, Dealesville and Hertzogville – run by the municipality.

A notice of interruption was issued on 8 and 14 February.

According to Eskom, the ANC-led Tokologo Local Municipality is currently indebted to Eskom with the amount of R36 464 659,52 for the bulk supply of electricity.

“Part of this has been outstanding and is in escalation since August 2012,” said Bibi Bedir, Eskom’s senior ma­nager of customer service in the Free State.

Consumers, including businesses in all three towns, are already feeling the impact of the interruption of power.

“After extensive engagements with the municipality, we have decided to continue with the planned interruption as it has become clear that negotiating with the municipality is not delivering the desired outcome,” said Bedi.

“Although we are legally allowed to disconnect the bulk supply to the municipality in total, we are weary of the fact that it may cause undue hardship to consumers and members of the community. We have opted for a regulated interruption of electricity supply as opposed to an outright disconnection.”

Interruptions started on Wednesday (21/02) and are set to continue indefinitely until the cash-strapped municipality pays up.

Eskom has also issued a notice to suspend bulk electricity supply to the Masilonyana Local Municipality, another ANC-led municipality.

Following the incorporation of Soutpan into the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Masilonyana runs Brandfort, Winburg, Theunissen and Verkeerdevlei. Should the municipality fail to start paying part of the outstanding debt of R48,5 million toward Eskom, suspension is set to start today (28/02).

The Free State MEC for Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, Sisi Ntombela, placed the Masilonyana Municipality under a Section 139 (1)(b) due to poor administration.


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