Court interdicts against power cuts

2013-03-13 22:34
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - An interdict was granted on Wednesday compelling the Matlosana municipality and Eskom to agree on terms of repayment of the municipality's electricity debt, and to halt power cuts.

Lobby group AfriForum said the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria prohibited Eskom from cutting electricity supply to residents of Klerksdorp and Jouberton without first giving 90 days notice to all parties.

The organisation made an urgent court application on the issue on Wednesday.

It sought to have the municipality honour its commitments to Eskom, and simultaneously to also prohibit Eskom from cutting the electricity supply to Klerksdorp and Jouberton.

Eskom threatened to cut the power on Thursday unless the council paid R91.8m in arrears.

The two parties held talks on Wednesday morning after which Eskom agreed it will not cut off power to Matlosana.

Mayor Michael Khauoe said an agreement was reached, and that the municipality had "honoured" the first part of the agreement by paying R47m earlier.

He said the municipality had no dealings with AfriForum and that the agreement was reached with Eskom alone.

"We have not spoken to AfriForum. We have no business with them."

AfriForum said it was "relieved" that residents would not be left without power on Thursday.

"The municipality is now compelled by the court to honour its commitment and do what the public pays for."

The court also instructed the municipality to report to the court on 16 April on progress made regarding the payment of the electricity account.

Eskom said it complied with the provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, which required it to publish notices and give affected customers a chance to make submissions before it resorted to disconnecting supply.

About 40% of Eskom's total sales go to municipalities, which Eskom supplies in bulk, while they in turn supply electricity to households and businesses in their areas of supply.

Read more on:    afriforum  |  eskom  |  mahikeng  |  electricity  |  service delivery

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