Eskom could still switch off Grahamstown

APRIL 30, 2015

Come 5 June, Eskom could cut the bulk electricity supply to the struggling Makana Local Municipality in Grahamstown – the only Eastern Cape municipality among 20 authorities across South Africa that owe Eskom billions. The municipality is not among 10 ten authorities that recently entered into payment agreements with Eskom.

When Eskom anounced its intention to switch off the lights in these municipality on 10 April, the total municipal arrear debt greater than 30 days was R4.67 billion.

Of this amount, the top 20 defaulting municipalities owed Eskom about R3.68 billion for the bulk supply of electricity. Since, the announcement, the total municipal arrear debt has been reduced by R54 million.

The following 10 municipalities have entered into payment agreements with Eskom:

  • Nama Khoi Municipality (Northern Cape)
  • Nketoana Municipality (Free State)
  • Nala Municipality (Free State)
  • Dihlabeng Municipality (Free State)
  • Thabazimbi Municipality (Limpopo)
  • City of Matlosana (North West)
  • Naledi Municipality (North West)
  • Madibeng Municipality (North West)
  • Randfontein Municipality (Gauteng)
  • Westonaria Municipality (Gauteng).

The bulk electricity supplies of municipalities that have entered into a payment agreement with Eskom will not be interrupted. However, municipalities have to comply consistently with payment agreement terms on a monthly basis. If these conditions are not met, interruptions of supply will be implemented without further notice.

Eskom Acting Chief Executive Brian Molefe said: “Eskom has reached a point where it can no longer continue to provide power without receiving payment in return. We are pleased that these 10 municipalities are doing their bit to ensure that they reduce the debt owed to Eskom and we encourage all defaulting municipalities to do the same,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eskom has also issued public notices of impending power interruptions to defaulting municipalities in Mpumalanga and the Free State Provinces, effective 05 June 2015. The affected municipalities are Emalahleni, Govan Mbeki, Lekwa, Msukaligwa, Maluti-a-Phofung, Matjhabeng and Ngwathe.

The power interruptions will be implemented and regulated according to the schedule below:

Monday to Friday

Saturday and Sunday

06h00 – 10h00

17h00 – 21h00

07h00 – 10h00

17h00 – 20h00

 

Eskom recognises that this will cause undue hardship to members of the public and businesses in the affected areas, and also have an adverse effect on the delivery of other services.

Eskom maintains that the power interruption and/or disconnection are always implemented as a last resort when all other viable options have been explored.

“Eskom is working closely with the relevant national and provincial departments through local, national and War Room structures to manage the municipal financial recovery process and we believe that the work being done within these structures will yield positive results,” Molefe said.