Eskom will not be implementing bulk electricity interruptions this week.
Local attorney, Mr Johan Coetzee successfully launched an urgent application in the High Court on Tuesday, December 12 to stop Eskom from flicking the switch.
The electricity giant wanted to cut on Thursday, December 14 after a number of calls on Emalahleni Local Municipality to settle their outstanding debt.
Coetzee argued that Eskom decided to interrupt the electricity despite the fact that the community have taken all reasonable steps and exhausted all legal remedies at their disposal to force the local municipality, the provincial and national executives to fulfil their constitutional obligations towards the community.
Coetzee called on the expertise of an engineer who has been involved in the water and sewerage system since 1982 to show what devastation lays ahead if the electricity should be interrupted.
Mr Willem van As said that untreated water will flow untreated through the purification works. Consumers will have this untreated water coming out of their household taps.
Van As said the higher lying areas would not have water soon after the interruptions start.
The bulk electricity interruptions in February taught a good lesson. Eskom cut the electricity to the municipality for four and a half hours a day. In the formal townships there are 97 000 households dependant on running water and in informal settlements there are roughly 34 000 households who are supplied water via water trucks. The municipality needs 150 mega litres to supply consumers. The municipal pumps and purification operated at full capacity to meet the demand. Water levels gradually decreased and the municipality had to do water shedding during the day. Systems often ran dry as the demand could not be met. After a 900mm pipe burst, some residents had no water for up to five days.
Van As also said that the sewerage that needs to be pumped from low lying areas will overflow within minutes after the interruptions start. The sewerage will run untreated through the purification works into Witbank Dam and The Olifants River, with catastrophic results on the fragile ecosystem.
Read the FULL STORY in the WITBANK NEWS out today