Debt to lead to darkness

2018-10-03 06:02

The six Free State local municipalities owing Eskom millions of rands face power interruptions, expected to negatively affect residents and businesses alike.

These are the municipalities of Nala, Matjhabeng, Moqhaka, Dihlabeng, Masilonyana and Tokologo.

Interruption is due to failure of the municipalities to meet payment obligations as arranged after several interventions, according to Eskom.

A media statement was issued on Friday (28/09) and it indicated that the non-paying municipalities’ next payments are due today (03/10).

“Eskom has implemented debt recovery measures as outlined in the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (Act 3 of 2000).

“Scheduled supply interruptions are implemented by Eskom as a last resort to combat escalating debt by Free State Local Municipalities for the bulk supply of electricity,” said Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg, provincial spokesperson.

According to Eskom, some municipalities were yet to meet full payment obligations and the parties were still negotia­ting the outstanding amounts.

Matjhabeng met payment obligations on 20 August and subsequently proposed a payment plan.

Moqhaka met its payment obligation on 17 September.

Tokologo and Dihlabeng have reportedly failed to meet payment obligations on 7 September, 19 September and 26 September, respectively.

This left Eskom with no option to continue with interruptions.

Tokologo governs Boshof, Dealesville and Hertzogville, Moqhaka runs Kroonstad, Viljoenskroon, Renovaal, Steynsrus and Vierfontein.

Nala governs Bothaville and Wesselsbron, while Matjhabeng runs Allanridge, Hennenman, Odendaalsrus, Ventersburg, Virginia and Welkom.

Dihlabeng, running Bethlehem, Clarens, Fouriesburg, Paul Roux and Rosendal, has been granted extension to make payment until 8 October.

Masilonyana, governing Theunissen, Winburg, Brandfort and Verkeerdevlei, has been granted extension until 12 October.

According to Eskom, each of these municipalities’ debt was more than R1 million at the beginning of the year, due to non-payment.

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