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Government & Municipal News
20 January 2017

ESKOM DISMISS APPLICATIONS 

The North Gauteng High Court on 5 January dismissed AfriForum’s application with costs, including the costs of the two counsels.

In making his ruling, Judge Hans Fabricius emphasized that it is necessary to appreciate the context in which Eskom operates in the national economy, seen against the background of its Constitutional rights and obligations. The Court also emphasized the duties of municipalities to honour their obligations to Eskom.

AfriForum, et al, had sought to interdict Eskom’s planned reduction of the supply of electricity to the defaulting municipalities. Arrears are located in municipalities in mainly the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape Provinces. 

AMOUNT OWED TO ESKOM RISEN TO R10.2 BILLION

The amount owed has risen to R10.2 billion, which grew over the past eight months from R6 billion. In the past five years, the overdue debt has increased tenfold with the March 2017 forecast being in excess of R12 billion.

UPDATE: 18 JAN: ESKOM CONTINUES WITH ITS REVENUE COLLECTION EFFORTS AGAINST NON-PAYING MUNICIPALITIES

On Wednesday, 18 January 2017, Eskom’s debt collection efforts continued with the interruptions of bulk electricity supply to the North West municipalities of Naledi, Lekwa-Teemane and Kgetlengrivier, affecting the towns of Vryburg, Stella, Bloemhof, Christiana, Koster and Swartruggens.

In addition, the Northern Cape municipalities of Ubuntu and Renosterberg will also have their supply interrupted, with the affected towns being Victoria-West, Richmond, Van der Kloof, Petrusville and Philipstown.

As previously communicated, the power supply to the affected municipalities will be interrupted from 06h00 – 08h00 and 17h00 – 19h30 (Monday to Friday) and 08h30 – 11h00 and 15h00 – 17h30 (Saturday and Sunday). 

Since the commencement of supply interruptions early this week, a number of municipalities have come forward with their payments and signed payment plans. As a result, these municipalities have had their supply interruptions suspended. There will thus be no supply interruptions in the Madibeng and Maquassi Hills municipalities in the North West Province.

“We are immensely encouraged by the kind of response we are witnessing presently and would like to thank all the municipalities that have made an effort to pay their accounts, and committed to their payment agreements,” Eskom Interim Group Chief Executive Matshela Koko said.

The interruption of supply as a result of non-payment remains an agonising decision for Eskom and is a means of last resort. “We take solace in the fact that we spared no effort to collect outstanding debts amicably.” 

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