AfriBusiness sent a letter of demand to Eskom regarding planned power cuts in Musina. The town faces power interruptions after it came to light that the Musina Local Municipality owes Eskom an astounding R72 million. Eskom now threatens to cut the town’s power supply as from 6 July 2018.
Meanwhile, the people of Musina had time until 18 June 2018 to make submission to Eskom to explain why power supply should not be interrupted. AfriBusiness has also intervened by sending a letter of demand to Eskom requesting them not to follow this course of action because of the effect it may have on the local economy and priority services.
“While load shedding once again seems to become the norm in South Africa, Eskom continues its onslaught on the innocent consumer by interrupting power supply to defaulting municipalities. In its letter, AfriBusiness draws Eskom’s attention to other cases where courts prevented the power utility from interrupting power supply to local municipalities. Some of these cases are currently in the process of being reviewed. It would be prudent for Eskom to wait for the finalisation of at least one of these major cases before it continues on its destructive and arbitrary path of cutting power to collect debt,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.
Moreover, Eskom has other remedies at its disposal to address municipal issues, namely provincial and national government intervention. However, Eskom seems to bypass these remedies without thinking about the innocent, paying customers.
If Eskom disregards AfriBusiness’s recommendations, legal action will be considered to find a national rather than a local solution to the dismal power supply crisis South Africa currently faces.