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N Cape towns face power cuts

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Local municipalities owe Eskom more than R400 million

Several Northern Cape towns, that owe Eskom millions of Rands, face power cuts from next month. File picture

SEVERAL towns in the Province could be plunged into darkness from next month as municipalities owe more than R400 million to Eskom.

Bulk electricity interruption notices were issued for Thembelihle, Tsantsabane, Renosterberg, Kai !Garib, Siyathemba and Siyancuma local municipalities in the Northern Cape on Friday and yesterday.

The notices indicated that the electricity supply would be terminated from 8.30am until 11am and again from 3pm until 5.30pm as from September 18.

Public representations would be allowed to be made before the close of the day on August 29 while public submissions for Siyathemba Municipality will have a deadline of August 25, to motivate why Eskom should not proceed with the bulk disconnections.

Eskom stated that the affected municipalities were in breach of their payment obligations, where the escalating debts had started accumulating since 2011.

“In order to protect the national interest in the sustainability of electricity supply it has become necessary for Eskom to exercise its right to disconnect the supply of electricity.”

The parastatal indicated that while it recognised that the indefinite disconnection of the electricity supply could cause “undue hardship” to consumers and members of the public, as well as disrupting the delivery of services, it would implement regulated power interruptions.

“The contemplated regulated interruption of electricity will allow members of the community and consumers the opportunity to make alternative arrangements for the scheduled periods of interruption.”

Both Eskom and the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs did not respond to media enquiries by the time of going to print.

Amounts owed to Eskom:

Kai !Garib Local Municipality:

R114.9 million

Siyancuma Local Municipality:

R92.1 million

Tsantsabane Local Municipality:

R72.5 million

Renosterberg Local Municipality:

R48 million

Thembelihle Local Municipality:

R47.9 million

Siyathemba Local Municipality:

R25.3 million