Northern Cape towns face dark Christmas as Eskom gets tough on non-payment
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Kimberley - Two Northern Cape municipalities face a dark Christmas after Eskom announced that it will be cutting the bulk electricity supply due to non-payment.
In a notice in Monday’s DFA, Eskom stated that the electricity supply would be interrupted at both Tsantsabane (Postmasburg) and Magareng (Warrenton) local municipalities from December 19 and will continue indefinitely.
Eskom said previously that Magareng Local Municipality was indebted to the power utility in the amount of R54.188 million, which has been outstanding and in escalation since 2010, while Tsantsabane Local Municipality owes Eskom R129.25 million, outstanding since April 2014.
For the first week (December 19 to 25) supply to the two municipalities will be cut from 6am to 9am and again from 5pm to 8.30pm on Monday to Friday, and from 8.30am to 12 midday and again from 3pm to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
From December 26, until a settlement is reached, electricity will be cut from 6am to 8pm daily.
According to the notice, Eskom had carefully considered all the written representations, comments and submissions received, as well as considered the overall impact of the escalating municipal debt over the past few years before making the decision to proceed with the interruptions and disconnections.
Three other local municipalities, Thembelihle, Phokwane and Dikgatlong, received a stay of execution after Eskom announced that it would not proceed with the contemplated interruption.
Eskom pointed out that the municipalities’ breach of their payment obligations to Eskom undermined and placed in jeopardy the power utility’s ability to continue the national supply of electricity on a financially sustainable basis.
Eskom originally announced that it would cut supply to a total of 10 municipalities in the Northern Cape, including Kamiesbuerg, Khai Ma, Magareng, Phokwane, Renosterberg, Richtersveld, Thembelihle, Tsantsabane, Siyancuma and Siyathemba.