Owing municipalities make arrangements to settle Eskom debt

Eskom says one municipality in the Free State owes over R600 million.

FILE: Eskom said almost half of the 27 municipalities that owe the power utility billions of rand are making arrangements to settle their debt. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom said almost half of the 27 municipalities that owe the power utility billions of rand are making arrangements to settle their debt.

Treasury is still considering whether it should go ahead with plans to withdraw funding to municipalities who are in arrears.

The parastatal's Khulu Phasiwe said, "From our side we'd really like to appreciate the assist that we're getting from the National Treasury and Salga, who're basically putting pressure on this municipalities to honour their debt to Eskom."

Phasiwe added one municipality in the Free State owes Eskom over R600 million.

"There's no way they can pay R600 million in one month. The arrangement will be for them to pay a certain amount going forward."

Eskom said although no load shedding is expected this festive season, the country's power woes are not over, just yet.

It will however embark on standard maintenance work next month, as most industrial companies shut down during the festive season.

Eskom believes the country's power outlook will change significantly when Medupi Power Station's unit 5 comes online in March 2018.

But for now, the station's unit 6 is enabling the parastatal to be more stable with uninterrupted power supply.

CEO Brian Molefe said he has managed to stabilise the utility merely by good leadership.

"We're currently working on plans now to make sure that we go through next winter without load shedding."

He said the moral at the company has also improved significantly over the past few months, which has an impact on the company's output.

"A more motivated, we know we must avoid load shedding and people go to extreme measures at the personal level."

Meanwhile, Eskom is confident there will be no load shedding this summer and minimal if any during winter next year.