Brits - Eskom has issued a notice to interrupt bulk electricity supply to the Madibeng local municipality in the North West, with the municipality reportedly owing the power utility more than R22 million in unpaid bills.
“Local municipality of Madibeng is currently indebted to Eskom in the amount of R22 721 015.14 for the bulk supply of electricity, part of which has been outstanding and escalating since October 2014,” Eskom said in a notice placed in the local newspaper, Brits Pos.
“In terms of both the provisions of Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 and the supply agreement with Madibeng, Eskom is entitled to disconnect the supply of electricity to defaulting municipalities of which Madibeng is one, on account of non-payment of electricity debt.”
Eskom is contemplating a regulated interruption of electricity supply, from 07h00 to 10h00, and from 18h00 to 20h00, as opposed to outright disconnection. After 15 days, should the electricity debt not improve, electricity would be disconnected indefinitely.
Power interruptions would be effected from March 30.
In the notice, Eskom invites all affected parties to submit written representations, comments and/submission indicating why Eskom should or should not continue with the contemplated interruption or disconnection. The closing date for the submission is March 16, with a final decision to be made on March 23.
Areas affected by the power cut include Brits CBD, Brits town, Brits industrial area, Damonsville, Oukasie, Lethlabile and Elandsrand.
The Democratic Alliance in Madibeng said it would fight the power cuts by asking Treasury to pay Eskom direct from the municipality’s equitable share.
“We will insist, like we did last year, that National Treasury pay Eskom on behalf of Madibeng out of the equitable share that Madibeng receives from National Treasury.
“We will write a letter to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan and request his assistance in the direct payment to Eskom,” said Leon Basson MP.