CAPE TOWN – Eskom is carrying ballooning debt from non-compliant municipalities that will owe upwards of R36-billion if they do not begin paying their bills.
Eskom’s bottom line is that those who owe it money, must face power cuts.The debt owed to the power utility by municipalities has gone up by R6-billion in the last six months alone and currently stands at R25-billion.
Meetings of an inter-ministerial task team haven’t been able to come up with a plan for municipalities to reduce their debt to Eskom. Eskom’s Jabu Mabuza has had enough of the talk and has said there is only one way to deal with the problem: Cut the lights.
“If you don’t pay for your bed, Joshua Doore comes to collect your bed,” he said. Local government association Salga says municipalities would not be in this predicament if consumers paid their bills.
There is still no plan on how to get municipalities to pay Eskom, as the government says it is not in favour of cutting electricity supply. Mabuza says soon municipal debt will be Eskom’s second-biggest liability, after the interest payments on the debt owed to its lenders.