Eskom to cut municipal power supply in the Free State

Free State municipalities are more than R1 billion in arrears in electricity charges.

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The Ngwathe, Dihlabeng and Maluti-a-Phofung municipalities collectively owe Eskom in excess of R450 million.

Eskom has now announced that it will suspend supply to the three municipalities on Monday, 4 August, according to James Letuka, DA member of the provincial legislature.

“The suspension of electricity supply will have a catastrophic impact on the lives of people. Residents who pay their municipal electricity bills or buy electricity will also be affected. It is really unfair that those who pay will also be forced into darkness all because municipalities can’t manage their finances appropriately,” said Letuka.

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Free State Agriculture CEO Henk Vermeulen said the organisation is extremely worried by the situation: “We have gathered from media reports that the Free State MEC for Finance Elzabe Rockman has intervened and is in the process of negotiating a settlement with Eskom.

“However, we find it extremely difficult to communicate with municipal authorities in the province to determine the extent of the problem. It seems as if there simply is no political will to enforce clean and efficient municipal management.”