A rolled out power cut due to owed money to Eskom will see ordinary people suffering more, having to remain in the dark for longer.
The power utility announced eMalahleni residents will only have lights three hours of electricity each day.
The following power cut schedules will affect residents, businesses, clinics and other public service areas when it begins on 3 March 2017:
– From Monday to Friday there will not be electricity between 6 and 9 in the morning and again from 4pm to 7.30pm.
– On weekends, when most people are at home, they will stay without power from 8.30am to 12 mid-day and from 3pm in the evening and 6:30pm.
The eMalahleni municipality is one of the 34 municipalities across the country that owes money to Eskom, which is at R1bn.
Municipal Manager Theo Van Vuuren on Wednesday afternoon posted the following message on his Facebook Page:
“I have requested the relevant department to provide more information regarding the notice that is currently being circulated regarding the extended electricity bulk interruptions from Eskom. As soon as we know we will post an update” Van Vuuren said.
The troubled municipality has struggled to wage a serious revenue collection campaign in recent weeks, to recoup money owed to it by its customers in order to avert the looming crisis. It has not been able to service its debt to Eskom which has subsequently ballooned to R1 billion in the past three years.
Last month the town put out to tender the sale of a piece of land in order to try and meet Eskom’s demand of a minimum of R227m cash payment and the submission of a substantial plan to service the debt which should be backed by a council resolution.
Over the weekend Eskom Group Executive for customer services Ayanda Noah said, “The interruption of supply as a result of non-payment remains an agonising decision for Eskom and is a means of last resort. We hope the municipalities will come up with a sustainable payment plan and thus avert further interruptions for its citizens.
“In spite of the fact that both the provisions of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 and supply agreements (with the municipalities) empower Eskom to disconnect electricity completely, Eskom has opted for a softer approach of interrupting electricity during certain hours in the day,” she said.
Meanwhile the power interruptions have also affected the pumping of water from certain reservoirs to some parts of the city of about four hundred thousand people.
Residents have been feeling the pinch as some parts have been without water for more than 24 hours at a time.
Residents of Kwa-Guqa have in the meantime called for an “urgent community meeting” that will be held to discuss “issues affecting the community of eMalahleni at large,” the message circulated through WhatsApp read.
The meeting will be held at Elukhanyisweni Secondary School in Lynnville at 5.30pm today (22 Feb).
(edited by ZK)
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