Eskom ‘want their money’
Three municipalities have until today to pay or table firm settlement proposals before electricity gets cut off
WHILE negotiations for payment were still ongoing between parties yesterday, Eskom has given three Eastern Cape municipalities until today to pay their debts or have their electricity cut.
The three municipalities, Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu and Inxuba Yethemba, owe Eskom R200m.
The power utility yesterday said that 22 municipalities across the country had been issued with payment notices.
While the initial deadline given to the three municipalities to make payment was on Wednesday, it was extended to afford the municipalities time to “make adequate payment or to table firm debt settlement proposals”.
“If there’s no money today or no agreement, we will cut off their electricity. The ball is in their court as to when and how much they are going to pay. We have been engaging with them about their payment plans and given them leeway to sort themselves out,” Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.
“Because we are in discussion with them, it would be counter-productive to discuss and at the same time take actions against them. They have until today to make the payments or the plan on how they are going to pay.”
Raymond Mhlaba’s municipality yesterday said that it was in the process of meeting with Eskom to discuss payment arrangements.
The municipality had also engaged with the provincial cooperative gov- ernance and traditional affairs to avert power interruptions.
Phasiwe said other municipalities that Eskom had issued notices of payment were in Gauteng, Northern Cape, NorthWest and Limpopo.
“The focus ultimately is not on the 22 as we have a bigger pull, 60 municipalities that we are tracking overall. These municipalities owe Eskom R11.4bn. We can’t issue notices to all the municipalities at once.
“We are starting with the 22 and we will follow with others. Ultimately, all we want is for these municipalities to pay us what they owe us,” Phasiwe said.
Some of the municipalities have until the end of October to pay Eskom.
He said that the issue non-payment by the municipalities was negatively affecting Eskom.
“We can’t continue selling electricity when we are not getting money. It’s putting us under pressure like on Tuesday we were in Parliament where we had to explain what is it we are doing to get our money.
“We can’t continue to produce something and yet we are not getting money for it. It’s not sustainable,” Phasiwe said.
EXTENSION: Eskom has given three Eastern Cape municipalities until today to pay their outstanding accounts or have their electricity supply cut off.