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Lights to go out at more municipalities

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Two more local municipalities in the Northern Cape face having the lights switched off as a result of the failure to honour payment arrangements entered into.

Two more municipalities in the Northern Cape face having bulk power interruptions after failing to honour payment arrangements made with Eskom. File picture: Karen Sandison/ANA Pictures

ESKOM yesterday issued notices to two more local municipalities in the Northern Cape informing them of scheduled bulk electricity interruptions.

The interruptions will start next month.

The power utility said yesterday that it intended to implement bulk supply interruptions at the Khai Ma and Gamagara local municipalities.

This is as a result of both municipalities’ failure to honour payment arrangements entered into.

Eskom said that the interruption, that will affect Pofadder (In Khai Ma) and Dingleton, Kathu and Olifantshoek (in Gamagara) would start on July 12 and continue indefinitely.

Khai Ma Local Municipality currently owes Eskom an amount of R11 512 447, while Gamagara owes the utility R63 594 806 for the bulk supply of electricity, part of which has been outstanding and has escalated since May 2016.

“Eskom is under a statutory obligation to generate and supply electricity to the municipalities nationally on a financial sustainable basis. The Khai Ma and Gamagara local municipalities’ breach of payment undermines and places Eskom’s ability to continue the national supply of electricity on a financial sustainable basis in jeopardy.

“In terms of both the provisions of the Electricity Regulation Act, 4 of 2006 and supply agreement with these municipalities, Eskom is entitled to disconnect the supply of electricity of defaulting municipalities, on account of non-payment of electricity debt,” a statement read.

Eskom added that in order to protect the national interest in the sustainability of electricity supply, it had become necessary to exercise its right to disconnect the supply of electricity.

“Eskom recognises that the indefinite disconnection of electricity supply may cause undue hardship to consumers and members of the community, and may adversely affect the delivery of other services. In view of this, Eskom is contemplating a regulated interruption of electricity supply as opposed to an outright disconnection. The contemplated regulated interruption will allow members of the community and consumers the opportunity to make alternative arrangements for the scheduled periods of interruption,” Eskom stated.

Temporary scheduled disconnection is scheduled at the following times:

Week 1: (July 12, 2018 – July 18, 2018): 6 am to 8 am and 5 pm to 7:30 pm on Weekdays and 8:30 am to 11am and 3 pm to 5:30 pm on weekends.

Week 2 (July 19, 2018 – July 25, 2018): 6 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 8:30 pm during weekdays and from 8:30 am to noon and 3 pm to 7 pm during weekends.

Week 3: (26 July 2018 – until agreement is reached) Monday to Sunday, 6 am to 8 pm.

“Notwithstanding the above proposed indicative times for the interruption of electricity supply, Eskom may, upon 15 calendar days’ notice, serve the right to disconnect electricity entirely and indefinitely should the electricity debt situation not improve,” the statement concluded.