'It's clear we need political will to help us settle municipal debt'

Eskom says a number of efforts have been rolled out to collect the municipal debt owed to them.

Defaulting municipalities owe the parastatal nearly R15 billion to date.

READ: Billions owed by municipalities will take decades to pay off

Ayanda Noah, Managing Director For Distribution at Eskom says the utility has gone around the country to engage municipalities, understand what their challenges are and asses their repayments affordability.

It is very clear we need political will in order to get the debt.

Ayanda Noah, Managing Director For Distribution at Eskom

We have allowed them to sign payment arrangements ranging from anything from 12 months, in some cases up to 36 months. We have also started pilots in the Free State, where we have assisted the municipality to install some prepaid smart meters so that they are able to collect the money.

Ayanda Noah, Managing Director For Distribution at Eskom

She says the last resort is to interrupt the electricity supply.

In the case of municipalities we interrupt at specific times that we announce and we go that way in the hopes that we will get that money.

Ayanda Noah, Managing Director For Distribution at Eskom

Lastly, we have been to Scopa and other parliamentary committees to ask for assistance in getting the public to pay.

Ayanda Noah, Managing Director For Distribution at Eskom

Some businesses are pushing to pay Eskom directly. Noah explains it is not ideal but it is welcome.

The downside is that the municipality does not pay the balance because those customers are only paying a portion which might be a big chunk of the bill but we still have a shortfall. It is better than getting nothing at all, in our case we do welcome it if it does happen.

Ayanda Noah, Managing Director For Distribution at Eskom

Click on the link below to hear more from Noah....


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