"The department is engaging with all parties concerned to find a constructive solution to the challenge," he said this week in a written reply to a parliamentary question.
According to the reply, the biggest debtor is City Power, of the City of Johannesburg, which owed R1.075bn.
The question was posed by Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
In a statement posted on his party's website, he said the amounts owed were shocking and worrisome.
"KwaZulu-Natal municipalities owed R1.27bn, Limpopo municipalities collectively owed R314 million, Mpumalanga municipalities owed R135m, North West owed R764m, Northern Cape municipalities owed R225m, and Western Cape municipalities owed R1.27bn."
Further, the Ekurhuleni metro owed R972,339, the City of Tshwane metro R793,000, the Nelson Mandela Bay metro R292m, the Buffalo City metro R128m, the eThekwini metro R813m, the Msunduzi municipality R146m, and the City of Cape Town metro R873m.
"These exorbitant amounts owed to Eskom are an indication of great failure on the part of municipalities to manage their debt in an orderly and systematic manner. There is obvious incapacity in terms of basic financial management," Hlengwa said.
Source : Sapa