The meeting that was scheduled for yesterday between Prasa and the City of Cape Town was postponed to allow the rail agency to work out payment arrangements to keep the lights on at its stations, Cape Argus reports.
Prasa spokesperson Makhosini Mgitywa said: “The meeting was deferred for a later date to allow Prasa to formulate and propose payment terms that the two parties can negotiate over.”
The deputy mayor of Cape Town, Ian Neilson, said Prasa’s situation with City still remained in the same place.
“Water and electricity disconnections are being effected to offices and minor train stations and it should have a minimal impact,” he said.
However, Neilson said the matter did not affect the power for train traction supplied directly from Eskom to Prasa.
“This is as a result of Prasa repeatedly failing to pay municipal rates and services debts of approximately R114 million to the City, of which R98 million is the arrears amount,” he said.
According to Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott, the City received payment of R22 million from the railway agency to reduce their debt for rates and services.
The deputy mayor said in February, Prasa made a paid R86.7 million of their previous R168 million arrears, but no solid payment arrangement for the outstanding arrears amount was made.
“It was indicated that a part payment of R22 million would be made by Monday, March 9, but it appears that the money has not been paid and is not sufficient in any case to avoid the disconnections,” he said.
Neilson said Prasa requested the City to submit a list of more than 800 of their accounts with debit and credit balances to them.
“The City has been engaging with Prasa on the debt for many years so they should be aware of the accounts and the debt owing,” he said.
Eskom cut Prasa’s electricity supply to its stations over a R6.5-million debt which was paid later before the deadline
Neilson said the City had to make provision for bad debt in its budget, which meant that fewer services were delivered.