Eskom holds power cut threat over municipality

Mbombela - Eskom is refusing to budge on a threat to cut the power of eMalahleni Municipality. This was revealed after a meeting about the municipality's debts.

The eMalahleni municipality is owing close to a billion rand to Eskom in electricity debts, but it has to pay atleast R600m to avoid Eskom cutting off lights.

eMalahleni spokesperson Kingdom Mabuza said a delegation led by Mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali met with Eskom officials on Monday in Mbombela.

“Negotiations are ongoing but clearly Eskom is not willing to compromise on their threat to cut off power,” he said.

Mabuza said the municipality will before the end of this week have collected ‎most of the R1.2bn that is owed to it; which is needed to settle the Eskom debt.

He warned that the municipality will switch off the power of indebted clients.

"We urge business and communities to pay for their services and help us to get out of this situation as power cuts would affect a lot of operations,” added Mabuza.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe confirmed that discussions are currently ongoing with eMalahleni. He said there is no specific date on which power will be cut.

“We have not come to a conclusion. As far as I know the discussions are still ongoing and we will still have another meeting with them. As Eskom, what we require is money or a plan on how they are going to settle their debts,” said Phasiwe.

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