File picture: Kopano Tlape/ GCIS
File picture: Kopano Tlape/ GCIS

Gordhan: Municipalities owe Eskom nearly R44bn - and debt continues to increase

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Aug 23, 2020

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Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said municipalities owe power utility Eskom R43.9 billion at the end of June.

Gordhan revealed this in parliamentary questions from DA MP C Brink, who asked about the details of the current age analysis of the total debt owed by each municipality to Eskom.

Brink also wanted to know the amount of the debt in so far as principal debt, interest and penalties in each case were concerned.

"The total debt owed by municipalities as at June 2020 is R43.9 billion, of which R30.9 billion is overdue debt," Gordhan said in his response.

Gordhan also said the total debt of R43.9 billion was made up of the capital amounts of R32.4 billion, interest of R6.7 billion and VAT of R4.8 billion.

His responses showed that Free State, Mpumalanga and Gauteng collectively owed more than R30 billion.

Free State owed the power utility R12 630 745 875, Mpumalanga R9 613 288 569 and Gauteng R8 659 793 303.

KwaZulu-Natal has a debt totaling R2 802 957 019 followed by North West R2 758 105 505, Eastern Cape R2 122 277 839 and Northern Cape R2 065 541 456.

The only provinces owing less than R2 billion are Western Cape at R1 976 082 828 and Limpopo R1 302 745 329.

Gordhan's replies came shortly a week after the power utility said it still wanted to recoup money by a number of municipalities.

Independent Media quoted Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha saying they would not use a blanket approach in recovering money owed to it.

This was after the power utility had attached the bank account of Maluti-a-Phofung in Free State, which owed R5.3bn at the time.

It was reported that Eskom released a portion of the funds to pay salaries of workers in the municipality to keep the operations running.

Political Bureau

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