‘We had no choice but to cut off power to some NC municipalities’

Eskom says it’s issued several warnings to the municipalities and even made special payment arrangements.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it had no choice but to cut off electricity supply to five municipalities in the Northern Cape after they repeatedly defaulted on making payment.

The utility says it's issued several warnings to the municipalities and made special payment arrangements, which have been ignored.

Eskom is owed R32 billion by customers, industrial users and municipalities.

The parastatal says some residents are in arrears and simply can't pay their debt.

Spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said, "From our side as a company unfortunately, because we are governed by certain regulations, it says when someone owes you, you need to anything possible to get your money back and that is what we are doing."

Meanwhile, Eskom officials have been meeting with the Kannaland Local Municipality's executive over its outstanding electricity bill.

The municipality has until February to pay R12 million worth of debt.

It had previously reached a payment agreement with the power utility but defaulted on that payment plan.

Disconnection could see at least 25,000 people in four towns go without power.

Phasiwe says the municipality still has some reprieve.

"The information I have is that they have been given until 26 February [2016] before we interrupt their services. Hopefully before then they will be able to make the payment or at least make some arrangement about how they are going to pay."