Some Mpumalanga residents are bearing the brunt of outstanding Eskom bills. Many spent Christmas in total darkness, after targeted power disruptions on five municipalities, which owe the power utility millions.
Residents spent Christmas with no lights and nothing has changed.
Six municipalities in Mpumalanga owe Eskom millions. EMalahleni municipality owes the biggest amount of close to a billion rand, the bill keeps escalating.
Eskom implemented power disruption in the five of the municipalities, in a bid to recoup lost revenue. There is no power for up to 6 hours every day.
Some shop owners have been forced to close down, denting their pockets and inconveniencing residents. “It affects residents us badly, because it is from 6am to 9 and on weekend it is even longer from 6 to 11 and again at 3 to 5. You can’t really do anything,” says resident Khutso Mashego.
The power disruptions have hampered several local businesses. One such business is Portia Maboke’s kitchen. She say they are struggling and as a result they now only serving lunch.
“As a small business, it is affecting me. I can’t make food for taxi drivers and people who want chips in the morning anymore,” says Maboke.
In some municipalities around Secunda angered residents took to take to the streets even torching municipal properties.
Eskom has suspended power cuts in some of the municipalities in the province this festive season, but for these municipalities it will take month or even years to settle the debt to the power utility, and residents will have to prepared for even more power outages in the new year.
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