Municipalities in the Northern Cape owe Eskom R2.8 billion, with Kai !Garib Municipality reflecting the highest outstanding debt of R491.2 million.
MUNICIPALITIES in the Northern Cape owe Eskom R2.8 billion, with Kai !Garib Municipality reflecting the highest outstanding debt of R491.2 million.
Sol Plaatje Municipality follows close on its heels with a debt of R470.6 million, followed by Gamagara, which owes Eskom R325.3 million, and Tsantsabane with R191.8 million.
Phokwane Municipality is the fifth-highest owing municipality with R178.4 million owed as of March 31.
Eskom spokesperson Patricia Tsepane said yesterday that only two municipalities were currently in discussion with Eskom to conclude acceptable payment plans.
“The financial sustainability of Eskom in the Northern Cape is hampered by soaring municipal debt. Payment patterns by the majority of the Province’s municipalities have been irregular over the past five years and have contributed negatively to the overdue debt, which is currently at R 2.8 billion,” said Tsepane.
She indicated that municipalities received an annual equitable share from government as well as payment for services from their customers.
“The expectation is that they should, in return, pay Eskom for the electricity supplied. Eskom has extensively engaged these municipalities on the irregular payments and highlighted the impact of non-payment on keeping the lights on. Despite these efforts, the municipalities fail to honour their responsibilities in terms of their electricity licence requirements and continue with non-payment of their current accounts.”
Tsepane added that municipalities had a constitutional duty to pay for bulk supply, to ensure that Eskom could continue to provide communities with an uninterrupted supply of electricity.
“Eskom would like to thank local municipalities that prioritise payment of their accounts.”