Power shock looms

A power shock awaits residents and businesses of the Govan Mbeki Municipal area after Eskom stated in a notice that the discontinuation of the electricity supply to the municipality, might be a reality from 11 April.

This follows Council’s failure to settle an account of nearly R190-m on the due date for the supply of electricity, part of which has been outstanding and in escalation since January 2011.

Eskom said it is obligated to supply electricity on a financially sustainable basis.

“The failure of the Govan Mbeki Municipality to pay its electricity account timeously, has jeopardised the financial sustainability of supplying electricity to Secunda, Bethal, eMbalenhle and eMzinoni.”

The spokesman of the municipality said on Monday Council was unaware of Eskom’s notice to cut the electricity.

This is not the first time that Eskom is threatening to cut the electricity daily.

They wanted to do so nearly a year ago, but Council apparently reached an agreement with Eskom to settle its debt.

Many protests and motions from opposition parties were raised regarding the issue.

Residents wrote several open letters in which they complained about the municipality not paying what was due to Eskom.

At the last council meeting at the end of last year, residents had a silent protest during the procession of the council meeting and held placards that said the following: “Pay Eskom” and “GMM the model city of corruption.”

However, the Govan Mbeki Municipality maintained everything was under control and were up to date regarding its Eskom account.

Council blamed their debt on municipal creditors, especially those who are not paying for services.

Ms Lindi Masina, mayor, launched Operation Sibutha ama Areas that was intended to recover the money owed to Council.

Residents who failed to pay their municipal bills’ electricity, were cut immediately.

The question remains, where did the money go that people pay for services.

Mr Bheki Kubheka, head of communication and marketing of the municipality, said: “The municipality cannot comment on the issue.

“Once we receive Eskom’s notice, we will issue a press statement.”

The contemplated interruption of electricity supply will result in temporary scheduled disconnections at the following times:

Monday to Friday from 6am to 10am and from 5pm to 9pm.

Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 10am and from 5pm to 8pm.


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Sifiso Mathebula

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