debt Source: Google images

The Newcastle Municipality has also been in hot water as it owes Eskom R200 million.

Government municipalities owe Eskom R20 billion, and the Democratic Alliance (DA) demands that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to ensure that her department pays out an estimated R20 billion debt owed to municipalities so that municipalities can pay back Eskom’s money.

DA states municipalities fail to pay Eskom’s debt because of debt that is owed to them by government departments

The DA further claim that the “math is simple” and if the government departments would start paying municipalities, then it would extend to Eskom’s debt being paid out too so that service delivery continues.

“However, it would be disingenuous if that was to be done without confronting the issue of non-payment to these municipalities by several government departments. Many municipalities have been struggling to meet their obligations to Eskom, due to ever-increasing debt that is owed to them by various consumers including government departments.”

DA reiterates that the culture of “non-payment” needs to come to an end

During the National Council of Provinces the Deputy President, David Mabuza, noted that the most concerning debt is the R19,9 billion municipalities owed to Eskom:

“The top 20 defaulting municipalities constitute 81% of total invoiced municipal arrear debt with total arrear debt of more than R100 million each. We must engender a culture of paying for services that have been rendered and consumed, especially from public entities like Eskom, just as we do with any other form of services rendered for private consumption.”

Deputy President, David Mabuza

The DA has promised to raise the issue of non-payment to embattled municipalities at the next portfolio meeting, and will further probe Dlamini-Zuma about active steps proposed to recover the money owed.

Enoch Mgijima Municipality owes Eskom a large sum of money

The Enoch Mgijima Municipality still owes Eskom R198 million, despite the payment agreement established in November 2018.

Furthermore, the municipality is at risk of having a black-out as Eskom continues to threaten, despite residents paying directly to the municipality for electricity consumed.

Recently the Newcastle Municipality has also been in hot water as Eskom has planned power interruptions, the municipality approached the Pietermaritzburg High Court to force Eskom to not switch off power to the town, as the municipality resolves its more than R200 million debt to the power utility.

Newcastle Municipality wants to reach a sustainable payment arrangement

The municipality filed an urgent application to interdict Eskom from proceeding with power interruptions, and Eskom is yet to reach a sustainable payment arrangement with the defaulting municipality.