Metrorail 'resolves matter' after Eskom's notice to cut Western Cape rail power

2020-01-22 17:36
Metrorail train in Cape Town.

Metrorail train in Cape Town. (Jaco Marais, News24)

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Metrorail in the Western Cape says it has come to an arrangement with Eskom after receiving notice of its intention to cut power supply over unpaid bills.

"The region acknowledges receipt of Eskom's notice, confirms that it had been elevated to the highest authority within Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa] and the matter has been resolved," regional Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said on Wednesday.

She said Prasa remained committed to meeting its financial obligations.

"An arrangement was made and there has been no impact on commuters," she added.

In response, Eskom told News24 that it disconnected one of Prasa's supply points, Eersteriver Traction, at 10:00 on Tuesday, "due to non-payment of the arrears on their account".

"Prasa subsequently paid the arrears amount during the afternoon, and we restored their supply at 17h04 on the same day after receiving proof of payment," it said.

"There is no payment arrangement in place in terms of paying off their arrears. They have paid the outstanding amount due and their account is now up to date."

READ: No threat to Gauteng, Cape trains from Eskom - Prasa

In November, Prasa denied to Fin24 that Eskom came close to cutting power to some of its rail routes due to unpaid bills.

This was after Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan had to intervene to avoid Eskom stopping power to Western Cape and Gauteng routes.

Netwerk24 reported at the time that Eskom had planned to cut Metrorail's Strand line in the Western Cape, as well as power to routes in Gauteng, according to a statement by the Western Cape government.

It reported that Prasa was understood to owe Eskom around R250m at the time.

Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani previously told Fin24 that all the agency's Eskom bills were settled, and that there was no threat from Eskom to cut power to its routes.

"I'm not sure where the premier got his information," Zenani said.

Read more on:    eskom  |  transport
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