Free State municipalities to pay Eskom debts
Eskom confirmed yesterday that Mantsopa and Mafube local municipalities in the Free State have made payment arrangements after Mangaung Metro municipality reached an agreement with the power utility last week.
This followed threats to interrupt power supply to all three due to nonpayment.
Last week, Eskom issued a notice to Centlec, Bloemfontein’s power utility, stating its intention to cut power supply to the three municipalities as of yesterday, if they did not make payment arrangements.
Eskom said Mangaung owed more than R170 million, Mafube owed R52 million and Mantsopa R205 million.
The utility’s Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg said the planned interruptions were a result of the municipalities’ failure to honour payment conditions, and would serve as a means to reduce escalating debt.
Municipalities in the province collectively owe the power utility over R9.8 billion. The Free State is the province with the highest Eskom debt countrywide.
Jansen van Rensburg confirmed that should the municipalities again “fail to adhere to the terms and conditions of the payment agreement, Eskom will issue a 48-hour notice to interrupt supply”.
Following the power interruption notice last week, the
Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to intervene.
The DA’s Cilliers Brink said Dlamini-Zuma could not stand by and watch as Mangaung collapsed.
The party said more needed to be done to address the dire financial state of municipalities in the province and ensure that they adhered to their Eskom agreements. – OFM News