Eskom wins judgment against Emfuleni municipality over R1.3 billion debt

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
  • Emfuleni Local Municipality's total debt stands at R3.5 billion.
  • Last year, Eskom suspended the process of attaching the municipality's assets after it committed to paying R50 million of its historic debt.
  • On Tuesday, Eskom's Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter said municipal debt had climbed to R39 billion at the end of the company's financial year in March.


Debt-laden Eskom has won a R1.3 billion judgement against the Emfuleni Local Municipality over unpaid bulk electricity services, in a move that could see the municipality's power infrastructure attached by the power utility.

The state-owned electricity supplier said the debt was part of a total debt of 1.9 billion which Emfuleni had accumulated in 2019. According to Eskom, Emfuleni tops the list of Gauteng municipalities with poor payment records, with arrears of more than R3 billion running over 30 days. 

Emfuleni's total debt stands at R3.5 billion - including the current account bill of R385 million due on 2 September 2021, Eskom said. 

Eskom's Senior Manager for Customer Services in Gauteng, Daphne Mokwena, said the judgement offered the utility several options to recover the debt owed to it.

"We could attach and transfer Emfuleni's electricity infrastructure, which comprises their electricity substations and power lines, and offset the value of the infrastructure against the judgment debt and/or attach known electricity revenue streams of the municipality by way of garnishee-type of orders," said Mokwena.

Eskom said other Gauteng municipalities with poor payment records include Emfuleni Municipality, followed by Merafong Local Municipality with over R570 million, Randwest Local Municipality with over R510 million, City of Tshwane with more than R200 million and City of Ekurhuleni with over R8 million, respectively.

The Mogale City Local Municipality has signed a payment agreement with Eskom for its outstanding total debt of more than R361 million and has been honouring its payments.

On Tuesday, Eskom's Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter said municipal debt had risen to R39 billion as at the end of the company's financial year in March. The company's own gross debt stands at R401.8 billion.

In April 2020, Eskom suspended the process of attaching Emfuleni's assets, after the municipality committed to paying R50 million of its R1.8 billion historic debt.

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