Court rules it is illegal for Eskom to cut power in eMalahleni

Court rules it is illegal for Eskom to cut power in eMalahleni

Eskom argues that in order for it to recover monies owed the exercise is important.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Mangaung has upheld a ruling against Eskom to not continue with power disruptions in eMalahleni, saying this is illegal.

The court says the electricity cuts affect residents who actually pay to use the electricity and the argument that they should be without electricity because their municipality owes Eskom is wrong.

Both the eMalahleni (Witbank) and Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg) local municipalities joined forces with concerned businesspeople and community members and took Eskom to the Tshwane High Court to argue that the cuts were unfair to paying consumers.

Eskom had wanted to recover millions and millions of rands owed to it by the municipalities using power disruptions.

Appeal judge deputy president Xola Petse noted the Mpumalanga municipalities were faced with challenges of bad governance.

Aware of this, Petse said it was unfair of Eskom to force residents down while knowing very well that the dysfunctionality of these municipalities makes them unable to pay debts.

The court heard how the disruptions affected hospitals, business and households – resulting in taps running dry.

(edited by MLM)

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