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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Tshwane promises to settle Eskom debt of more than R1 billion

Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams said the metro has assured Eskom that it will pay what it owes.

The City of Tshwane has promised to pay Eskom the more than R1 billion it owes the parastatal.

Eskom has threatened to disconnect the city to secure the outstanding debt.

However, mayor Randall Williams has lashed out at Eskom saying it could be unlawful to plunge Tshwane into darkness.

ALSO READ: Financially challenged Tshwane discuss R1.6bn payment plan with Eskom

Williams has acknowledged the R1.6 billion debt and said the metro intends to pay the outstanding amount before the end of the month.

He said the city’s finance team has consistently been engaging Eskom on a payment plan.

MMC for Finance Peter Sutton said the city will settle its debt with Eskom by next Friday.

“As it stands today, we have R1 billion outstanding debt to Eskom, we committed to payment plans which Eskom did not accept but we still commit to that and we make daily payments. We are planning to pay R590 million by the end of this week and to settle the full amount on the 16th of September.”

“As our collection is received and we can make more payments to them, the team will do that. So, we will pay no later than 16 September or earlier as the cash allows,” said Sutton.

Metros in debt

Eskom has confirmed that Tshwane is not the only metro battling to pay its Eskom bill for bulk electricity purchases.

Moneyweb reports Mangaung, currently under administration, was unable to cough up the payment due at the end of August and is currently in negotiations with Eskom, while Ekurhuleni is settling its bills only partially on time and paying the balance two weeks late, according to Eskom.

Meanwhile, the City of Tshwane has appointed Johann Mettler as the new city manager.

Mettler was appointed during the continuation of a council meeting on 1 August 2022.

Williams said the city has been without a full-time manager for nearly three years.

“This was not an ideal situation for a large metropolitan city such as Tshwane. A full time city manager is critical to the functioning of the City of Tshwane. This will restore administrative stability and good governance to take the city forward,” Williams said.

ALSO READ: Eskom rejects City of Tshwane’s payment arrangement on outstanding bill – disconnection looms

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