By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA – Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality has on Friday 1 April 2022 announced that it has managed to pay Eskom more than R54 million in servicing outstanding Eskom debt in the municipality as per their agreement, thereby averted looming black outs.
MAP is amongst the top three municipalities in the Free State who have high outstanding debt of six billion rand with Eskom, after Matjhabeng and Ngwathe.
Executive Mayor Gilbert Tjhopo Mokotso said they have paid R54, 743,031.32 to Eskom in servicing the current account. This amount is inclusive of the R15 million paid directly to Eskom by the top 100 users in the municipality.
“It gives us so much pleasure to be able to continue to service this debt, especially being able to pay our current account as per our agreements with Eskom,” Mokotso disclosed.
He also added that they have in the last three months collected over R134 million in electricity, water, rates.
“With our revenue collection campaign still in full operation, we should be able to deal with this debt accordingly. We call on all electricity users including government departments and state entities to play their meaningful part and pay for their consumption,” Mokotso urged.
The clamp down campaign which saw disconnection of electricity from non-compliance businesses gave municipality a revenue boost after most businesses came forward to pay.
During the campaign a Zimbabwean national scrapyard owner in Botjhabela village and his three co-accused were arrested after found in possession of stolen municipal transformers including copper cables, another move that would quell regular power cuts
The municipality update follows a warning made by Eskom on Monday 28 March that the defaulting municipalities face electricity disconnection.
Eskom’s General manager for the central east cluster Agnes Mlambo said the debt continued to increase, Map, Mafube and Ngwathe consume R200 million on average monthly.