Eskom halts power cuts to Northern Cape municipality pending outcome of court case

(iStock).
(iStock).

Eskom says that planned power interruptions to the Nama Khoi Local municipality in the Northern Cape have been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of a court case.

The power utility issued a notice about the planned cuts on January 10, saying the electricity supply would be interrupted due to alleged non-payment by the municipality.

In an emailed response to Fin24, Eskom said that the amount due as at Novembr 12, 2019 stood at R113.3m. The date for the hearing has not yet been set. 

This is not the first time Eskom has threatened to cut power to non-paying municipalities it it seeks to recoup funds to improve its precarious financial position. By October last year, it was owed R26.4bn by defaulting municipalities. At its half-year results announcement in November, Eskom had warned outstanding debt could reach R30bn by year end. At the time, its then-chairperson Jabu Mabuza said Eskom would consider the attachment of municipal assets such as mayoral cars to recover debt.

In November 2019, Eskom was on the brink of cutting off electricity to three Free State municipalities - included Bloemfontein - before the utility and the municipalities reached a last-minute payment agreement.  In December 2019, Eskom again threatened to cut power- this time at 11 municipalities in the Northern Cape. This was again halted after the power utility said it made "progress" in retrieving outstanding debt from the municipalities, as Fin24 previously reported.

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