Eskom has cut supply to five districts, encompassing 116 300 residents, after the municipalities failed to pay the company for electricity.
The power utility disconnected supply at 7am in the Northern Cape municipalities of Dikgatlong, Magareng, Ubuntu, Thembelihle and Renosterberg, it said on its Twitter account.
The cuts would continue until 10am and resume between 6pm and 8pm, the company said.
The move follows “the municipalities’ defaulting on existing payment terms and payment arrangements”, Eskom said. The utility needed about R237 billion of funding to 2019 and had secured 84% of the R46 billion needed for the fiscal year to March, it said.
Eskom is owed about R32.3 billion by customers, including large industrial users and municipalities. Soweto owes R9.8 billion – 95% of which is debt that is more than 60 days overdue.