Two authorities face Eskom switch-offs
A LAST-GASP deal prevented one of three Eastern Cape municipalities – Raymond Mhlaba – from being plunged into a powerless situation today.
This emerged late yesterday after a difficult day of negotiations with Eskom over the three municipalities’ collective bill of R125-million.
The Raymond Mhlaba deal means the towns of Fort Beaufort, Alice, Adelaide and Bedford will continue to have electricity.
Raymond Mhlaba mayor Bandile Ketelo reacted: “The municipality’s power supply will not be interrupted and its cash flow will continue to sustain the provision of basic services.”
At the time of writing yesterday, Walter Sisulu and Inxuba Yethemba municipalities had apparently not yet cut a deal with Eskom.
Eskom spokesman Zama Mpondwana confirmed yesterday the plan to switch off lights to the two municipalities from todaywould go ahead as planned, given that “there are no payment agreements reached so far”.
Inxuba Yethemba covers Cradock and surrounds while Walter Sisulu includes Aliwal North and Burgersdorp. The bills of the three municipalities date back to July 2010, when municipal entities were different.
Eskom has told municipalities they would be “materially and adversely affected by the contemplated interruptions of bulk supply”.
Raymond Mhlaba has owed R21million from April 2016.
In November, Eskom issued a warning notice threatening to stop the electricity supply to the three.
From today outages will begin in Walter Sisulu and Inxuba Yethemba municipalities from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7.30pm on Mondays to Fridays, and from 8.30am to 11am and 3pm to 5.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
On Wednesday, Ketelo said three options for payment were presented to Eskom, but these were rejected.
Ketelo said she had “secured the commitment of the MECs for finance and cooperative governance to join me in meeting senior Eskom officials”.
Provincial treasury spokeswoman Nosisa Sogayise confirmed her department would be part of the meeting yesterday.