Eskom puts pressure on Tshwane metro to pay R878m debt

Tshwane metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba says the municipality will ensure the full amount is paid by Thursday.

As the Tshwane metro continues disconnecting services to defaulting residents to recoup billions of rands owed to it, Eskom has demanded that the metro pays R878m it owes the power utility.

In a media statement on Monday, the power utility said it rejected Tshwane’s offer to enter into payment settlement arrangements to pay what it owed.

Last month, the municipality asked to enter into a payment arrangement with Eskom to pay its debt.

“The metro failed to pay Eskom a total amount of R908m which was due and payable by 17 June. The municipality only made a payment of R10m on 23 June and R20m on 30 June,” the statement read.

Eskom described the metro’s payments as “erratic”.

“Out of the eight metropolitan municipalities in the country, the City of Tshwane is the only one with erratic payments,” it said.

Eskom said the problems were escalated to the mayor Randall Williams in June, requesting him to assist in ensuring that the municipality settles the account by June 30.

Tshwane mayor Randall Williams. Photo: Ron Sibiya

Eskom said the metro’s irregular payments over the past year contributed negatively to Eskom’s increasing overdue debt (which is in excess of R46.6bn).

“As a utility, we are obliged to operate this business in a sustainable manner, and to consequently take all the appropriate measures to recover money owed to us,” Eskom Gauteng consumer services senior manager Daphne Mokwena was quoted as saying.

“We remain hopeful that the City will review its current position regarding the appeals made to them by Eskom and honour their payments.”

Metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba said the municipality experienced financial problems due to low revenue collection in the previous financial year.

“We’re anticipating an improved level of collection in the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year and beyond, following the relaunch of our aggressive revenue collection campaign known as #TshwaneYaTima, which resumed on the June 22,” Bokaba said.

He said the metro would ensure full payment would be made to Eskom by Thursday, July 7.

“It’s important that our customers pay their accounts in full and on time to enable us to pay our creditors like Eskom and others,” Bokaba said.

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