Eastern Cape Municipalities owe Eskom almost R200 million: AfriForum

JANUARY 22, 2015

AfriForum on Thursday alleged that Eastern Cape municipalities owe Eskom almost R200 million. The total owed to the power utility by all South African municipalities in January 2014 was R2.3 billion and by the end of 2014, it has grown to more than R4.6 billion.

According to the report, which can be downloaded here, Makana Local Municipality led the pack with an Eskom debt of R57 164 482; the Gariep Local Municipality follows closely behind with a debt of R37 141 754 while the Maletswai Municipality has a debt of R30 287 508.

Nationally, Free State municipalities were the most in debt, owing a collective R1.6 billion. 

AfriForum's Tiaan Esterhuizen said municipalities were very quick to cut power to defaulting customers but were not doing their bit by in turn paying Eskom. 

He said this outstanding debt was contributing to the pressure on Eskom's ability to provide electricity.

Esterhuizen says AfriForum believes privatisation of electricity management will cut out incompetent municipalities while at the same time dealing with the problems of electricity supply.

"AfriForum is of the opinion that privatisation of electricity management will cut out the incompetent municipalities and make debt recovery more efficient," he said.

Provinces in debt to Eskom

South African Municipalities' debt according to provinces:

  • Mpumalanga R1 478 699 504
  • Limpopo R221 666 382
  • Free State R1 606 430 495
  • Gauteng R213 785 845
  • KZN R63 466 453
  • Eastern Cape R188 727 702
  • Western Cape R21 182 475
  • Northern Cape R142 940 425
  • Northwest R671 565 715

AfriForum also blamed the country's power problems on government's transformation efforts.