Eskom is hopeful that it will be able to recover the billions owed by eight municipalities.
Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko says the power utility cannot run its service without payment.
Eskom cannot borrow money to generate electricity to give it to municipalities that don't pay... You're going to bankrupt Eskom.— Matshela Koko, Eskom acting CEO
We are expected to recover our cost of sales and we're not doing that.— Matshela Koko, Eskom acting CEO
The power utility wants to recover approximately R10.2 billion in debt from eight defaulting municipalities.
Koko explains that residents will be negatively affected by tariff increases if municipalities are not held accountable.
He says premiers and mayors have met to discuss ways in which to recover money on behalf of the municipalities.
According to Koko, postpaid electricity metres will soon be replaced with prepaid metres in four municipalities that have defaulting residents.
Eskom will interrupt the power supply of owing municipalities five hours a day from January 16, he explains.
Meanwhile, South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has called on the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to place defaulting municipalities owing Eskom under administration.
Koko says he supports Sanco's call.
Take a listen to what he says must be done: