Eskom. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Cape Town - The South African Local Government Association (Salga) and Eskom could be headed for a legal showdown over the supply of electricity.

This was contained in the report that was tabled in Parliament this week but the inter-ministerial task team could not present it owing to the no show of key ministers.

This left MPs fuming and they decided to call off the meeting over the municipal debt to Eskom.

But in the report, the Cabinet endorsed the recommendations of the task team that municipalities must enter into an agreement with Eskom.

The Cabinet also backed municipalities as the distributors of electricity in line with their constitutional functions.

Municipalities owe Eskom R25billion.

“Salga threatens to seek a judicial declaratory on the constitutionality of electricity reticulation and distribution of Eskom (constitutional mandate),” reads the document.

Eskom insists that it is not a service provider to municipalities, but it says the licence granted to it by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa allows it to distribute and reticulate electricity.

The report said, based on the view of Eskom, there was a need to find a common solution to the impasse.

The task team made recommendations to address the stalemate. It supported municipalities as the executive authority in terms of administering electricity and gas reticulation.

It said Eskom must enter into a service delivery agreement with municipalities if “it were to reticulate within the municipal areas or boundaries.”

Politics Bureau