Rand West municipality owes Eskom over R700-million

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The Rand West Local Municipality owes Eskom more than R700 million for electricity.

The municipality says residents and big businesses are not paying for services and this is impacting service delivery.

Municipal Mayor Gladys Khoza was briefing the media in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg.

Rand West was formed following the amalgamation of the Randfontein and Westonaria local municipalities.

Khoza says they are giving the customers a month to make payment arrangements failing which the municipality will cut off their electricity.

“It’s for a long term that our community has not been paying the municipality. It is not a recent thing. It comes far back…I need to take that responsibility and ensure that we implement credit control. We are going to audit the meters. We call upon those who are indigent to come forth to the municipality,” says Khoza.

Free State also owing Eskom 

Meanwhile, Eskom says the rising debt of municipalities in the Free State is crippling its service delivery programme.

Eskom has revealed that 16 municipalities, including the Mangaung Metro, have had a joint debt of R16-billion since the end of February.

The top three municipalities, Maluti-A-Phofung, Matjhabeng and Ngwathe, are leading with a joint debt of over R12-billion.

The power utility says the three municipalities consume energy valued at R200-million on average monthly.

Eskom’s Agnes Mlambo says municipalities receive government grants but still fail to service their electricity debt.

In June last year, Deputy President David Mabuza said rising municipal debt continues to pose a serious risk to Eskom’s liquidity.

Mabuza was answering Parliamentary questions on challenges facing the power utility: