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Eskom issues 48- hour warning to defaulting municipalities

Eskom says it has postponed the planned interruption of bulk electricity supply to the two defaulting municipalities in the Free State pending a legal process that is currently underway.

On Sunday, Eskom implemented load shedding for the first time in 10 days due to a shortage of generation capacity resulting from technical faults at some of its units.

“Of the top 20 municipalities in arrears, 18 have responded to Eskom’s request for payment by putting payment plans in place,’ Eskom said in a statement on Friday. Two municipalities are in a legal process due to non-payment.

The top 20 defaulting municipalities make up 90% of the outstanding municipal debt to Eskom, the power utility said.

The 20 defaulting municipalities are believed to be R4.6 billion in arrears, while Soweto owes Eskom in the region of R8 billion, and with a payment rate of approximately 16%.

“It is with this in mind that Eskom is announcing the start of interruption of bulk power supply to municipalities who are in arrears and those who have agreed payment plans with Eskom but have now defaulted on these payment plans,” it said.

Communities within municipal areas targeted for interruption will be provided 48 hours’ notice in their local media. “Any municipalities who are currently honouring their payment plans but who default in future will immediately be given 48 hours’ notice and be interrupted,” the power group said.

On Friday, City Press reported that Eskom has offered Soweto residents a deal where it offers to negotiate on their outstanding bills if they install prepaid meters and start paying for electricity.

The City Press quoted the Gauteng General Manager of Eskom, Bandile Jack, as saying that they are considering wiping the debt of users who agree to install prepaid meters.

Source - Business Tech