Power cut-off deadlines looms for three EC municipalities

17:40 (GMT+2) Wed, 13 Sep 2017

Three Eastern Cape municipalities are continuing last ditch talks with Eskom to prevent the power utility from cutting off their electricity supply on Friday.

The Municipalities are the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality, Walter Sisulu Municipality and Inxuba Yethemba Municipality, who between them owe Eskom over R200m.

The executive mayor of the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality, Bandile Ketelo, said the power utility rejected three payment options tabled at a meeting on Wednesday.

“I have now engaged provincial functionaries, and specifically provincial treasury, and have secured the commitment of the MEC’s for finance and local government, to join me in meeting with senior Eskom officials tomorrow in yet another attempt to secure a meeting of minds,” he said.

Mayor Ketelo said that he “cannot allow Eskom to assume responsibility for electricity sales, and for payment receipts in Raymond Mhlaba. Eskom’s administrative decision will be reviewed if a mutually acceptable solution cannot be found by Friday.”

Eskom spokesperson, Khulu Pasiwe, meanwhile said their door will be open until the deadline of 6am on Friday passes, before any action is taken against the defaulting municipalities.

Eskom spokesperson, Khulu Pasiwe, says their door will be open until the Friday deadline, before any action is taken against the defaulting municipalities.

"We want to give these municipalities a chance to get their act together insofar as collecting the money and also coming up with a viable plan as to how they are going to pay.  Today, we had a meeting with Raymond Mhlaba Municipality and we are hopeful that we wil lbe able to find a resolution on this matter before Friday," Pasiwe said.

"Unfortunately, if there is no tangible agreement by Friday at six o'clock in the morning we will be interrupting their power supply."