Building rented by Eskom in Gqeberha has electricity cut due to non-payment by landlord

Eskom has had its building's electricity supply cut off.
Eskom has had its building's electricity supply cut off.
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  • The Nelson Mandela metro has disconnected the electricity to a building rented by Eskom, over unpaid electricity bills. 
  • The building is used by employees of Eskom's transmission division which operates the interprovincial power network.  
  • The metro said it was forced to take action against defaulters.

Eskom got a taste of its own medicine when the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality cut the electricity supply to the power utility's offices in Gqeberha due to a R600 000 outstanding bill owed by the building's landlord.

Eskom does not own the building, but rents the office space for its transmission division which operates the interprovincial power network.   

Municipality spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki confirmed that the metro's electricians had disconnected the Old Mutual Building on Cape Road, occupied by Eskom, on Tuesday. 

The municipality and Eskom could not confirm whether the electricity was still off by the time of publication.  

READ Named and shamed: Tshwane cuts power to SARS, SAPS and Gautrain station over 'non-payment' of bills

Mniki said this was part of a "vigorous programme" to recover more than R8 billion owed to the municipality by its clients. 

Mniki said:

We will continue disconnecting until we reach a stage where the municipality is not owed for services rendered so that we can deliver uninterrupted and reliable services to our people.

Mniki said the municipality found itself in a very tough financial position after being forced to write off the bills of consumers who had lost their jobs due to Covid-19. 

"We moved a lot of our domestic customers to the indigent programme by giving them free services because they lost [their] jobs due to the effects of Covid-19. Therefore, every cent counts. We can't have those who can afford to pay for the services, not paying," Mniki added. 

The building at 271 Cape Road, also previously housed Eskom's distribution division until it moved to a newly-built Eskom office complex in Kariega last September.

READ Gauteng health dept disputes DA's claim that it owes City of Joburg R200m for electricity

Eskom spokesperson Zama Mpondwana declined to comment, saying only that Eskom did not own the property.

News of the Eskom offices being disconnected went viral on social media, with members of the public saying the power utility finally got a taste of its own medicine. 

Eskom continues to receive flak from the public for load shedding.

Since 2007, it had been implementing deliberate power cuts to save the national energy grid from total collapse. 

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