COUNT­DOWN TO A BLACK­OUT

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - ANDISA BONANI

Enoch Mgi­jima Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (EMLM) cur­rently does not have a plan to pre­vent Eskom from con­tin­u­ing with its in­ten­tion to in­ter­rupt the power sup­ply on Novem­ber 20, due to it not hav­ing the R85m pay­ment re­quested by the power en­tity.

Dur­ing a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing on Fri­day, EMLM mayor Si­sisi To­lashe re­vealed the lo­cal author­ity owed Eskom R146,953,032 for the month end­ing Oc­to­ber 31.

To­lashe in­di­cated they re­cently met Eskom of­fi­cials and, dur­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions, had pro­posed a R45m pay­ment, which was re­jected.

“Eskom turned down our pro­posed amount and re­quested that we pay R85m, which we cur­rently can­not af­ford due to our fi­nan­cial sta­tus. We will con­tinue to en­gage the power en­tity in hopes that we reach an am­i­ca­ble agree­ment. I do not want to make any prom­ises in re­la­tion to whether we will be able to make pay­ment be­fore the set date, but Eskom has given us un­til Novem­ber 30.”

The mayor said they were hop­ing to rope in Eskom to as­sist the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to im­prove its elec­tric­ity in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing the pur­chas­ing and in­stal­la­tion of tam­per-free smart me­ters.

Eskom spokesper­son Zama Mpond­wana con­firmed on­go­ing en­gage­ments with the lo­cal author­ity re­gard­ing the bulk elec­tric­ity debt.

“Un­til an agree­ment with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is reached, Eskom will con­tinue with the an­tic­i­pated power in­ter­rup­tions as sched­uled for Novem­ber 20.”

Pic­ture: ANDISA BONANI

TIME TICK­ING BY: The race is on to pre­vent power cuts in the EMLM area as pro­posed by Eskom, due to ris­ing debt.

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