Lights will stay on in Free State towns – Eskom

Eskom has agreed not to disconnect the electricity supply to three municipalities in the Free State.

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Municipalities in the province owe the state-owned power utility more than R1 billion, said Eskom.

Power supply to the Ngwathe, Dihlabeng and Maluti-a-Phofung municipalities would have been suspended on 4 August, said Eskom. These owe Eskom in excess of R450 million.

The Free State provincial government said in a joint statement with Eskom yesterday that an agreement had been reached that allowed for further “detailed engagements and development of payment plans by the affected municipalities.”

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However, the disconnection notices will remain in effect until the negotiation process has ended, according to the statement.

David van Vuuren, the DA’s chief whip in the Free State provincial legislature, said in a statement today (1 August) that the province is heading towards a financial crisis.

“The current state of affairs is indicative of an embedded culture of unaccountability, lack of transparency and recklessness within municipalities and provincial departments,” he said