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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Emfuleni and Tshwane R7.1bn debt exacerbating Eskom cash flow crisis

It does not have the financial capacity to finance Emfuleni's, Tshwane's or any other municipalities operations, Eskom said.

Municipalities defaulting on their massive debt burden is exacerbating its cash flow crisis, Eskom says.

This come after the City of Tshwane’s (CoT) electricity debt compounded to R1.4 billion due to its short payment and non-payments spanning several months in the recent past, Eskom said.

However, it’s the Emfuleni Municipality with the bulk of the debt owed to Eskom.

Billions owed to Eskom

Emfuleni owes the utility billions of rands, Eskom Gauteng spokesperson Amanda Qithi told The Citizen.

“Emfuleni has actually gone way beyond media statements and reports as we continue to engage with them to try and pay. Emfuleni owes us R5.7 billion as it stands.”

“But in October last year, the Pretoria High Court actually granted judgment to attach their assets for R1.3 billion. We’ve attached their moveable assets and also their bank accounts,” Qithi said.

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Tshwane defaulting

Despite several engagements with the CoT to encourage it to settle its November 2022 account by 31 December 2022, the bill remains outstanding, Qithi said.

“We have approached the Department of Co-Operative Governance & Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to try and mediate in this matter. So we are waiting for the report from Cogta as to what is the next step to take.”

“But whilst that is happening, we are also constantly engaging with the City of Tshwane management to try and see what can be done for them to actually honour their account,” Qithi said.

Eskom had previously reported on Tshwane’s erratic payments on its bulk account, Qithi said.

“We made the same plea to the CoT to settle its long outstanding invoice of November 2022, in a meeting on 5 January 2023, but to no avail.”

Pay for services

Eskom does not have the financial capacity to finance the Tshwane’s or any other municipalities operations, Qithi said.

“We urge the municipalities to pay and the municipalities customers to pay their accounts and for the service they received.” Qithi added.

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