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South Rand Hospital given until Monday to pay electricity debt

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South Rand Hospital has until Monday to settle a R2.9 million electricity debt with City Power or face disconnection. The distributor issued the public hospital with the intention to cut off the electricity supply after failing to keep up with monthly payments.

But the Provincial Health Department says the notice was premature because it has demonstrated a willingness to pay. City Power embarked on yet another cut-off operation targeting defaulting customers including a hospital.

South Rand Hospital was on the list of non-paying customers to be disconnected from the grid. But due to time constraints, the hospital was given until Monday morning to make a payment.

The move comes just a month after a high court ruling that exempts hospitals, clinics, schools, and police stations from load shedding.

Key Accounts Executive for City Power  Mpho Khoza says, “We were here to hand over and drop cut to sensitize and we are supposed to be giving them four hours to evacuate ICU patients. According to the rules, we must give them four hours prior to the disconnection.”

The provincial health department and hospital management were not pleased with the notice. Citing a meeting that allegedly happened a day before being served with a notice to disconnect the hospital.

Gauteng Department of Health Motalatale Modiba says, “In relation to South End, I know that already the team had made a run of a thing about R2 million that is currently being processed. And finances obviously looking to make sure the amount is cleared as soon as possible. Because there was never an issue of not wanting to service the debt there could’ve been a delay in processing that amount.”

South Rand is not the only hospital with an overdue electricity account. However, the provincial health government says it is in the process of resolving all outstanding debt.

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