Ricochet News

11th-hour Eskom debt settlement agreements avert power cuts

Sep 15, 2017
11th-hour Eskom debt settlement agreements avert power cuts

The pending power cuts to two of the three Eastern Cape municipalities, the Raymond Mhlaba and Walter Sisulu, will not happen on Friday after the Eskom and the municipality's reached 11th-hour agreements on payments of debt following continuous engagements during this week.

"Eskom has reached payment agreements with the owing municipalities," the power utility said.

"The Inxuba Yethemba Municipality [the third municipality] committed to make an acceptable payment by midnight on Thursday. Should this not materialize, Eskom will implement interruptions from the evening shift on Friday, until an acceptable agreement is reached."

Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Bandile Ketelo, who spent the past few days trying to engage Eskom on the debt his new municipality inherited from the former Nxuba Local Municipality, was delighted.

"I am delighted to announce that my executive team, and advisors, and provincial government functionaries, and I have successfully concluded a payment plan with Eskom to service the inherited arrears owed to the power utility," he said.

"The municipality’s power supply will not be interrupted and the municipality’s cash flow will continue to sustain the provision of basic services.

"I thank Eskom for its accommodation and goodwill, and trust that the municipality’s transparency and intent will continue to assure all parties that the present problem is taken on with all energy, with a view to settle obligations without the encumbrance of power cuts to industry, business, agriculture and households; and also without intervention in the management of the municipality’s service delivery."

However, Eskom warned that should the municipalities fail to honour the agreements, it will have to switch them off the grid.

“Eskom would like to inform all affected customers that should the municipalities deviate from the new payment agreements, electricity interruptions will be implemented without notice,” it said.

"Eskom remains mindful of the impact such supply interruptions will have on electricity consumers, thus the interruption of supply to municipalities for non-payment is always implemented as a last resort."