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Wed Aug 24 15:57:15 SAST 2016

DA challenges Eskom notice to cut electricity in Madibeng

TMG Ditigal | 05 February, 2016 16:08
Eskom's National Grid Pylons. File photo.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER /©SUNDAY TIMES

The Democratic Alliance in Madibeng‚ North West‚ said it will fight Eskom's proposed municipal power cuts.

Eskom is planning the cuts because Madibeng owes more than R22 million.

This follows Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s threat earlier on Friday that the province will pull out of business arrangements with Eskom‚ unless the parastatal reviews the payment terms it enforces on municipalities‚ according to a report by DispatchLive.

The DA said: “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.”

Eskom gave notice to Madibeng local municipality that it would partially cut power supply to the area by the end of March‚ affecting a number of areas including Brits‚ Damonsville‚ Oukasie‚ Lethlabile and Elandsrand

The party said cutting electricity was a violation of the Constitution and basic human rights. It blamed mismanagement and poor governance for the non-payment of debt.

Seven municipalities in Mpumalanga owe Eskom more than R1.4 billion‚ according to the DispatchLive report. Mabuza said although the municipalities were willing to pay the debt Eskom’s terms of payment were unreasonable.

The debt‚ caused by non-payment and theft‚ was escalating as a result of interest on arrears and on penalties.

Mabuza said the municipalities distributing electricity on behalf of Eskom were incapable of doing so. He has encouraged these municipalities to hand responsibility for electricity distribution back to Eskom and urged government departments to pay their electricity bills to the municipalities.

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