Eskom wants its R1.3-billion

Emalahleni Local Municipality owes Eskom R1.3-billion on its arrears account. The current account is R677-million.

Eskom is fed up with promises and undertakings to pay this debt and will be switching off bulk electricity to the municipality in November.

Local attorney Mr Johan Coetzee is taking the lead in a campaign to stop the bulk electricity disruptions.
Coetzee said he will be using the Constitutional Bill of Rights to challenge Eskom in the high court.

He said residents do not have a basic right to electricity, however all citizens have the right to water, sanitation, healthcare and education. In the event that Eskom cuts electricity to Emalahleni, the water supply will be directly affected. So will sanitation and that will lead to schools and clinics having to close because toilets will quickly block up. This was the case in February when schools had to close their gates when Eskom smacked the municipality with bulk power interruptions.

Mr Johan Coetzee is taking Eskom to court to try and prevent bulk electricity interruptions in November.

This will be the second time this year Eskom and the Emalahleni Local Municipality face each other in the high court.

In an attempt to stop Eskom from flicking the switch, the municipality brought an urgent application to the High Court in Pretoria on February 23. They argued that the electricity interruptions have severe impact on a basic human right, namely access to water.

Shortly after the municipality launched its urgent application, Eskom made a media statement wherein it suspended the interruption strategy until March 3, subject thereto that Eskom will resume interruptions on March 4 if the defaulting municipality fail to rectify their breach.

Coetzee brought a successful application to be joined as an interested and affected party to the municipality’s application.

Read the FULL story in the WITBANK NEWS out today


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Zita Goldswain
Assistant Editor

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