Various African National Congress-run municipalities in Gauteng owe state-owned power company Eskom over R500 million, Democratic Alliance Gauteng MPL Ashor Sarupen said on Sunday.

During the consideration of the Division of Revenue Bill by a joint legislature committee on Thursday, it was revealed by the National Treasury that three Gauteng ANC-run municipalities were in arrears with Eskom for more than half a billion rand, Surapen said.

“Merafong City is reported to owe R140 million, Mogale City R173 million, and the embattled and scandal plagued Emfuleni local municipality owes Eskom R262 million.”

Eskom had previously threatened to disconnect non-paying municipalities, and considering its financial position needed to recoup these amounts. The ANC in Gauteng had previously committed to having its government pay its bills, but this appeared to be all talk when considering these massive amounts of arrears, Surapen said.

“It also raises the question as to what these municipalities are doing with ratepayers’ money, as municipalities generate profits from reselling utilities to consumers to fund operations while paying bulk providers.”

The DA would table questions to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC and ANC Provincial Chairman Paul Mashatile about this state of affairs and the broader state of financial mismanagement where the ANC governed in Gauteng,  Sarupen said.

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