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Astral beats Eskom in court bid

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Johannesburg - Poultry producer Astral Foods has won an assurance from Eskom that the power utility will not cut off supply to its Standerton operation.

This comes after Astral was in the North Gauteng High Court for past two days over its application against Eskom to fend off the threat of disruptions in electricity supply to its operations in the Lekwa municipal region (Standerton).

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File Photo. Picture: Ian Landsberg

On Wednesday, it said an agreement offered by Eskom was concluded in terms of which the utility will not disrupt electricity supply to Standerton as previously threatened, which would have had devastating consequences for Astral’s operations.

“We are very pleased with this victory, which resulted in the settlement agreement being made an order of court thereby protecting Astral’s operational interests in the region permanently,” says CEO Chris Schutte.

Read also: Chickens in danger of starving

This followed a previous judgement in February 2017 in the North Gauteng High Court in which Astral was granted temporary relief from electricity interruptions pending further argument in the High Court, which played out over the past two days.

The original complaint was based on planned action from Eskom whereby they would cut electricity supply to the Standerton as a result of the municipality’s incompetence and failure to pay over monies collected from consumers in the region and service mounting debt.

Astral will now receive uninterrupted power supply to its operations in Standerton on the basis that Astral will make direct payments to Eskom for its electricity consumption. As per the court order, Eskom will bear Astral’s legal costs for all applications in this matter, including the earlier interim relief application.

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