Eskom agrees to release funds to Free State defaulter

The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality owes R5.3bn in unpaid electricity bills.
Image: Bloomberg

Eskom agreed to release some funds to a municipality in the Free State province to help it cover running costs, after seizing its bank accounts earlier this week.

The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality owes R5.3 billion in unpaid electricity bills and must reach an agreement to service the debt and its current account by August 7, Eskom said in a statement Saturday. The state-owned power utility will release 90 million rand from the municipality’s bank account to allow it to pay workers’ salaries and cover other costs, it said.

Eskom said its sustainability is threatened by a total outstanding municipal debt of R30.9 billion as of end-June.

“Eskom will continue to explore all available legal avenues to ensure that outstanding municipal debt is recovered,” the company said in the statement.

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To build up arrears of more than R5 billion is not an overnight thing. It must have taken years. During that time the municipal council, the district council, the provincial government, national government, nersa and the auditor general must have been aware of this. All of these bodies have an oversight function/decision making powers to stop the development of such a crisis, but obviously, nobody did anything. This is the problem with all this levels of oversight, everybody is waiting for someone else to act. The buck should have stopped with the municipal council. The moment the account is in arrears for more than 30 days, Eskom should be allowed to switch of the power. If the council can not solve the problem, the voters of that town will certainly make a plan with them.

The joys of cadre deployment.

Most cant run their own household grocery budget. The length of their fingers seem to be the only qualifying criteria required for a “job”.

Only the useless ANC can think this is “smart”. And continue to think it is “smart”

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