Court stops Eskom from pulling the plug in Newcastle over R2bn debt

08 October 2019 - 12:18 By NIVASHNI NAIR
The Newcastle town hall in KwaZulu-Natal. The Pietermaritzburg high court has granted an interdict to stop Eskom from implementing daily power cuts.
The Newcastle town hall in KwaZulu-Natal. The Pietermaritzburg high court has granted an interdict to stop Eskom from implementing daily power cuts.
Image: Wikimedia/Viresh Mahabeer

About 100,000 Newcastle residents will remain switched on while the local municipality pays its debt to Eskom.

The Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday granted the municipality an interdict to stop the power utility from implementing daily power blackouts.

The Newcastle Growth Coalition told TimesLIVE the municipality has been ordered to pay R30m a month to Eskom. It said the coalition "sees the judgment in a positive light for Newcastle residents and businesses".

"We believe the Newcastle municipality will adhere to the court ruling. We, as a growth coalition, will engage with the municipality as a matter of urgency to discuss how we can all work together to ensure growth in Newcastle again," said coalition chair Johan Pieters.

The municipality approached the court on Thursday when the power utility was expected to pull the plug from 6am because of the local municipality's failure to pay its debt.

It is claimed Newcastle consistently defaulted on payments towards its R2bn debt from 2017.

Eskom had said in a notice that residences and businesses would be disconnected from 6am until noon and again from 3pm to 8.30pm each day from September 30 to October 6.

From October 7, electricity was scheduled to be disconnected from 6am to 8pm on week days, until the municipality had paid off the entire debt.


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