Power crisis draws near
The countdown to the festive season has started. It may, however, be less than jolly for thousands of people living in the Enoch Mgijima municipal area should threatened power cuts by Eskom be realised.
It is believed that the current debt to Eskom stands at about R123m, an amount which will be difficult if not near impossible to find in challenging economic times in SA.
The same situation cropped up earlier in 2018 and plans to make regular payments to Eskom were announced. It seems, however, that the debt continues to accumulate and Eskom is drawing a line in the sand.
The fact that the municipality is one of several in the same situation, will do little to alleviate the growing anxiety. Fresh from a situation where a blown transformer left a number of residential areas and sections of the Komani CBD without power, residents now face the increasingly real risk that Eskom will be plunging the town into darkness within the next three weeks. People’s livelihoods are at risk with a stable electricity supply imperative right now, not even for development, but for survival.
The National Council of Provinces will be in town on Friday to discuss the work of the new administrator, Vuyo Mlokothi, in turning around the municipality’s fortunes.
Mlokothi will continue his work in the absence of suspended municipal manager (MM) Chris Magwangqana and with the assistance of acting MM Donovan van Wyk, who has served the local authority for decades.
Their effort, combined with provincial and council support, is what the community of the area will rely upon to avert what is sure to be a disaster for the area.
Time is not our friend, and while the clock ticks down to November, all eyes will be on them. An unenviable situation, indeed.