For years, Eskom has been urging municipalities to prioritise paying the power utility for electricity to improve the company’s revenue collection.
As things stand, 96 municipalities owe Eskom an estimated R 27. 8 billion.
Eskom has had to cut supply to at-least 17 municipalities, sign 56 payment agreements and is a respondent to at least three court cases.
Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize has had to step in and manage negotiations between Eskom and municipalities, looking for a political solution to the problem.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, Group Executive of Customer Services at Eskom, Ayanda Noah says 40% of their revenue comes from municipalities.
So, this is something that worries us because it has been coming for many years, since about 2010, we have noticed that the arrear debts that the municipalities owe us, has been going up.— Ayanda Noah,Group Executive of Customer Services at Eskom
It started off at about R500 million in 2010 and now it is sitting at about R14,5 billion. To contextualise the R28.7 billion that you refer to, R14.5 billion of that is arrear debt.— Ayanda Noah,Group Executive of Customer Services at Eskom
In other words, it is unpaid money that is due to Eskom.— Ayanda Noah,Group Executive of Customer Services at Eskom
She adds they have had a number of engagements with municipalities where they have accommodated them and put in place payment arrangements which are more favourable to the municipalities.
Listen further to the full interview: