Home News NC residents face up to 14 hours a day power cuts

NC residents face up to 14 hours a day power cuts

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As from April 2, until a payment agreement is reached, the power blackout will extend from 6am until 8pm, daily

File image: INLSA

ESKOM has announced extended power cuts at Ubuntu and Kai Garib local municipalities as from next week due to rising debts, where power blackouts may be extended for up to 14 hours per day.

This is due to an amount of R41 million that is owed by the Ubuntu municipality and R125 million that is outstanding to Eskom by Kai Garib municipality.

In 2016, Ubuntu municipality had a debt of R25, 4 million while Kai Garib municipality in August 2017 had recorded an outstanding R114, 9 million to the power utility.

The electricity cuts that will come into effect from March 19-25 at both municipalities where the power will be interrupted from 6am until 8am and in the evenings from 5pm until 7.30pm, during the week.

Over weekends the electricity supply will be interrupted from 8.30am until 11am and 3pm until 5.30pm.

From March 26 to April 1 these hours will be extended from 6am until 9am and from 5pm until 8.30pm during the week and from 3pm until 6pm over weekends.

As from April 2, until a payment agreement is reached, the power blackout will extend from 6am until 8pm, daily.

Eskom has warned that it would upon 15 days calendar notice, disconnect the electricity in its entirety and indefinitely should the debt situation not improve.

Eskom spokesperson in the Free State and Northern Cape region Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg yesterday stated that intentions to interrupt the bulk electricity supply to Renosterberg municipality as from March 19 would be suspended, after a new payment agreement had been entered into.

“In a notice published on March 2, Eskom indicated its intention to interrupt bulk electricity supply, due to debts of R53 287 710. Some of payments date back to August 2011.”

General manager of Eskom in the Northern Cape Klaas Gouws stated that they would closely monitor if Renosterberg municipality was adhering to the payment agreement.

“Should Renosterberg default on their payment agreement, supply interruptions will resume with 48 hours notice.”

This is while the power and electricity was cut at the Department of Education ZF Mgcawu district offices in Upington since Monday.

Staff at the district offices at the Department of Education yesterday stated that they were expected to report for duty although they were unable to flush the toilets, wash their hands or operate their computers.

“We cannot work under these terrible conditions. Although we are at work, we cannot do anything so we are roaming around and are making use of the toilets of residents living in the area.”

Spokesperson for Dawid Kruiper municipality Patrick Williams said that the Department of Education owed the municipality an amount of R301 002, 55 in respect of Lowbos Primary, Klein Mier Primary, Askam Primary and Noprat Primary.

“The municipality gave notice to disconnect the electricity supply to the Department of Education on February 28.

“The four primary schools that are situated in the old Mier district that was amalgamated with Khara Hais municipality and incorporated into the Dawid Kruiper municipality.”

He added that the Department of Education had not honoured their deadline of paying the municipality on March 8.

“The electricity supply of the four schools that are in arrears was not interrupted as they also cater for the boarding and lodging of pupils. We did not hold the schools responsible for the payment.”

Williams indicated that the municipality had granted a request that was sent by the department yesterday to extend the deadline for payment until March 23.

“The power supply was restored yesterday. However if the new extension date is not adhered to, the electricity will be disconnected once more. All government departments, non-governmental organisations and residents are expected to pay for their services. The municipality is not in arrears with Eskom. However if we continue to allow customers to default on their payments, Eskom will not hesitate to cut off the entire town’s power supply.”

He pointed out that the municipality was not responsible for any water cuts.

Spokesperson for the MEC for Education Geoffrey van der Merwe said that they were awaiting feedback from the Dawid Kruiper municipality.

“We can confirm that the electricity at the ZF Mgcawu district office was cut-off on Monday while the supply of water was interrupted yesterday (Tuesday) morning at 9am. We have engaged the Dawid Kruiper Municipality with regards to these interruptions as these accounts of the district office are not in arrears

“We are monitoring the situation with regards to the hygiene at our district office and have contingency plans in place.”

Spokesperson for the MEC for Health Lebogang Majaha stated that the MEC Fufe Makatong had committed to restoring the water at the health facility in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district, a few days after the back-up water pump collapsed.

“Community members staged a protest yesterday (Tuesday) morning as there was no water supply water for both the staff at the district health office and the primary healthcare facility.

“The MEC appeals to members of the community in the Kagisho and Mothibistad area, to exercise patience while the department works around the clock to restore the supply of water at the facility within the next 48 hours.”

He encouraged patients seeking medical assistance to visit nearby healthcare facilities until services were fully restored and conducive for usage at Kagisho primary healthcare facility.