Eskom Soweto power crisis: More questions than answers

2015-05-13 15:51


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The tug of war between Eskom and Soweto residents over the R4bn unpaid debt, prepaid electricity meters and load shedding has everyone wondering if there’s light at the end of the tunnel. 

Several proposals have been put forward, including scrapping the current debt and beginning on a clean slate, installing prepaid meters in every household, and making people face the cold hard fact that electricity – like any other service – needs to be paid for in accordance with how much one uses. 

Some have even gone as far as suggesting that if Sowetans paid their debt, Eskom wouldn’t be in the financial crisis it finds itself in right now. Others have blamed the debt on the power utility’s lack of foresight. 

Callers on a radio talk show last night suggested a flat rate for the suburb, but others rejected this as Sowetans seeking special treatment. Those opposed to the idea said the residents’ high electricity bills reflect their high usage of the service. 

There was however general consensus about those who have paid-up accounts having to unfairly suffer with everyone when the power utility implements “power cuts” on the whole area. 

One caller raised an interesting point about the “culture of non-payment” being “a product of our past”. He suggested that politicians should go back to “the people” and tell them that the strategy of not paying for services was meant to topple the previous regime, and it was now time to pay as it was now the “people’s government” in power. 

» What do you think is behind the Soweto power crisis and how can it be resolved? 

Read more on:    eskom  |  soweto  |  electicity

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