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Sol to make payment to Eskom, city’s lights will stay on – mayor

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Eskom has warned that should the Sol Plaatje Municipality continue to default on payments the power utility will begin implementing bulk electricity interruptions.

Sol Plaatje executive mayor Patrick Mabilo. Picture: Danie van der Lith

SOL PLAATJE executive mayor Patrick Mabilo is confident that the lights in the city will stay on after the municipality committed to making an immediate payment to Eskom to settle its January obligations.

Eskom has warned that should the municipality continue to default on payments the power utility would begin implementing bulk electricity interruptions.

The municipality owes Eskom a total of R130 million.

Mabilo said that they had met with Eskom on Monday.

The municipality has a current account of R43 million that is due on February 3. It has an arrears debt of R87 million.

The November account of R42 million and debt instalment of R12.4 million was paid on December 29.

According to Eskom, Sol Plaatje Municipality has not been able to honour a payment agreement that was entered into last year, where its December bill is still outstanding due to cash flow problems.

Eskom stated that non-payment of services rendered to the Sol Plaatje Municipality posed an increasing financial risk to the power utility and requested the premier to urgently intervene.

Mabilo said that the municipality had committed to making an immediate payment to Eskom in order to meet its January obligations.

“The two parties will meet during the course of this week in order to discuss and finalise the payment arrangement of other outstanding amounts for the municipality to be up to date with its payments,” said Mabilo.

“Covid-19 has adversely affected the municipality’s monthly revenue and the financial position is constrained.”

He added that the municipality would continue to devise long-term sustainable strategies to fulfil its financial obligations to Eskom.

“Eskom is a very important state-owned enterprise (SOE) as it must continue to provide much-needed services to the municipality.

“The meeting was conducted in a constructive manner, characterised by candid, frank and open discussion. All parties committed themselves to continue to work to resolving the challenges as amicably as possible.”

Mabilo extended his gratitude to the Office of the Premier, the Provincial Treasury and the Office of the MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs for their valuable contributions during the meeting.

“We remain committed to delivering quality services to all communities within the Sol Plaatje municipal jurisdiction.”