KZN municipality forces Eskom to keep the lights on despite R123m bill
The Mooi-Mpofana municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has been granted an urgent interdict against Eskom barring the power utility from disconnecting electricity in the area.
Eskom had served the municipality with notice to disconnect its electricity by July 8 over an R123m electricity bill which dates back to 2015.
On Friday, while the department of cooperative government and traditional affairs (Cogta) was engaged in negotiations with Eskom, Mooi-Mpofana mayor Xolani Duma told TimesLIVE that he had instructed the municipal manager to seek an urgent interdict. The interdict was granted at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Saturday.
The interdict, seen by TimesLIVE, stipulates that Eskom may not disconnect power to the municipality pending the finalisation of the application. The electricity provider has also been ordered to pay for the costs of the application.
On Monday, residents of the municipality, which covers areas such as Mooi River, Bruntville and Nottingham Road, were temporarily left without power. According to Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso this was because the power utility was not yet aware of the order that was granted.
Mabaso said that Cogta, which was the second applicant in the interdict application, was still engaged in talks with Eskom.
"This is only a temporary solution to the problem. The only way this will be solved is if residents go out there and settle their bills with the municipality," said Mabaso.
The power utility is expected to file its responding papers by August 15.