LISTEN| Eskom considers disconnecting Tshwane power due to metro’s non-payment

Tshwane metro says they were only four days behind and promised that it will pay the power utility.

Eskom said it was considering disconnecting power to Tshwane because the municipality owes it R1.6-billion in outstanding payments.

“The City’s persistent failure to honour its payments places a huge burden on Eskom to continue providing it with electricity,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Eskom, the outstanding amount was due on August 17.

“The municipality has only paid R68-million of their debt and this amount did little to dent the massive outstanding balance on its electricity account.

“The power utility had numerous engagements with the City of Tshwane’s management to ensure that the City pays its account.

“Nevertheless, these actions have not yielded any results as the metro has continued with the same pattern.”

ALSO READ: Eskom puts pressure on Tshwane metro to pay R878 million debt

Eskom said the failure of Tshwane to make timeous payments was “unacceptable”.

It said the utility would apply different approaches to recover money owed to it.

Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile was informed of the risks associated with the late payment for Tshwane municipality, Eskom said.

In July, the municipality was also in trouble with Eskom for R878-million debt.

Eskom said the metro’s irregular payments over the past year contributed negatively to their increasing overdue debt, which is over R46.6-billion.

ALSO READ: Tshwane metro says it paid Eskom R876-million in debt but can’t guarantee not getting into arrears in future

Tshwane finance MMC Peter Sutton said metro would pay Eskom, but did not say when.

Sutton said the outstanding amount was for July and all prior debt was paid.

He said the delayed payments were caused by contradicting financial systems of the metro and Eskom.

“On average, residents pay the City in a 60-day cycle for services consumed while Eskom expects payment in 15 days. The City has zero cash reserves to bridge the gap with payment from our coffers and, therefore, this results in the current situation.

“We have previously met with the Eskom CEO and CFO and discussed the City’s financial challenges, so we note this Eskom statement with disappointment.”

The municipality previously blamed its problems in paying its debt on financial problems caused by low revenue collection.

Since February, the municipality embarked on an aggressive revenue campaign to collect R17-billion owed to it by residents and local businesses as well as government departments.


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