Beatrice Shongwe, News24 Correspondent
Malalane – Officials at a municipality in Mpumalanga have rejected Eskom’s allegations that they failed to settle a R5 million electricity bill, which will result in their power supply being cut.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the Nkomazi local municipality only paid for electricity to Malalane on January 15, and for the municipality’s Mzinti RDP housing area on January 5.
According to an Eskom advert, the power utility would cut the power supply on April 11. Scheduled blackouts would be implemented before this date.
If the municipality had not paid or reached a repayment agreement, then Eskom would proceed as per the advert, Phasiwe said.
Phasiwe said currently the municipality had not made any payments.
Malelane Business Chamber chairperson, Mel Preddy, said the municipality paid Eskom two weeks before the advert was published and cutting the power supply would bankrupt main businesses.
He said that according to their findings, the Mzinti RDP housing area was in arrears with Eskom and its power supply might be cut soon.
Nkomazi local municipality spokesperson Cyril Ripinga said they were shocked when they saw the Eskom advert in a local newspaper.
“There must be a mistake with Eskom. We have never missed a payment, we have invoices to prove that our Eskom bill is always up to date,” he said.
He assured residents there would not be power cuts.
In the advert, Eskom stated that the Nkomazi local municipality owed it R5 032 340.21.
“Eskom’s obliged to supply electricity on a financially sustainable basis. The failure of Nkomazi local municipality to pay its electricity account timeously has jeopardised the financial sustainability of supplying electricity,” the advert reads.