Power interruptions still looming

2018-10-24 06:01

Embattled municipalities in the Free State hugely indebted to Eskom remain in a predicament.

This is despite payments made to avoid power interruptions.

Approximately ten municipalities – all governed by the ANC in the province – owe the power supplier millions due to their authorities’ non-payment culture.

Due to the municipalities’ failure to pay up, they face interruptions of bulk power from Eskom.

Some municipalities have made payments to avoid interruptions while those in dire financial constrains have again reportedly engage with Eskom.

Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg, Eskom provincial spokesperson, said the Mafube Local Municipality has made the minimum payment required to avert the interruption of bulk electricity supply.

Interruption was scheduled to commence on Tuesday, 16 October.

“The Mafube Local Municipality’s next payment to Eskom for the bulk supply of electricity is due Friday (26/10).

“Should the municipality fail to honour its commitment, interruptions will be implemented on 31 October until 6 November,” said Jansen van Rensburg.

Interruption will affect Frankfort, Cornelia, Tweeling and Villiers.

Jansen van Rensburg said supply interruption to the Masilonyana Local Municipa­lity has been suspended due to negotiations.

Interruptions were briefly implemented until 17 October due to the municipality’s failure to honour its payment obligations toward Eskom.

The municipality governs Brandfort, Theunissen, Verkeerdevlei and Winburg.

A notice to interrupt supply to the municipality in July was published in June this year.

However, interruption was suspended following a satisfactory payment by the municipality of Masilonyana which reportedly owed R48 521 535,27 to Eskom.

To ensure that defaulting Free State municipalities adhere to the conditions of their payment agreements with Eskom, the power utility closely monitors their payments.

Eskom immediately institutes corrective action at the first signs of default.

Despite repayment agreements, the Masilonyana Municipality did not meet their payment obligation on 26 September.

Extension was granted until 12 October.

Unfortunately, the Masilonyana Municipality yet again failed to meet its obligation.

Eskom has since warned that it will continue with the interruptions to all defaulting municipalities should they fail to adhere to repayment agreements.

Other municipalities still in the woods include those of Tokologo, Nala, Nketoana, Maluti-A-Phofung, Matjha­beng and Dihlabeng.

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