Eskom 'concerned' over court ruling to keep the lights on in Newcastle

08 October 2019 - 16:13 By NIVASHNI NAIR
Newcastle municipality was granted an interim order preventing Eskom from pulling the plug on electricity supply in the KwaZulu-Natal town.
Newcastle municipality was granted an interim order preventing Eskom from pulling the plug on electricity supply in the KwaZulu-Natal town.
Image: 123RF/Choneschones

Eskom is concerned about the financial implications of the Pietermaritzburg high court's judgment on its operations and security of supply.

"The revenue we collect is critical in producing the product, servicing the customers and strengthening the network for future economic growth of the province. Revenue collection remains a priority to Eskom, and we will continue with all the necessary actions to ensure the redistributor debt levels in the country are under control," said the power utility's spokesperson, Joyce Zingoni.

Zingoni said Eskom was disappointed with the court's decision to grant an interim interdict to stop the power utility from implementing daily power cuts due to the Newcastle municipality's outstanding debt.

"We are disappointed by the outcome but will respect the judgment and trust Newcastle will do the same by paying the monthly R30m on the set dates," Zingoni said.

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 the Newcastle municipality consistently defaulted on payments towards its R2bn Eskom debt from 2017.

In a media statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the municipality explained the judgment "in short":

  • Eskom is not allowed to cut power to the economic hub of northern KwaZulu-Natal, Newcastle.
  • The Newcastle Municipality must pay Eskom R30m  per month as from October 15.
  • All parties are granted leave to file supplementary papers by October 16 .
  • The matter is set down for December 6.

"I will ensure that our CFO makes payment on the 15th of every month. We now have a concrete agreement in place. We will not disappoint the people of Newcastle. We are positive that on  December 6, the interim order by the court will become final," said Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba.


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