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