Payment plans of three Eastern Free State municipalities owing Eskom shouldn’t extend beyond March 2015 next year.
According to HOD of the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Human Settlements, Victor Duma, it was an agreement reached. Ngwathe Municipality owes Eskom R216 million, Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality R32 million and Dihlabeng Municipality R58 million.
He explained that Dihlabeng, Maluti a Phofung and Ngwathe – which comprise Bethlehem, Qwaqwa and Parys respectively, will produce credible payment plans which will be approved by their respective councils. Duma added that there is a team assisting Ngwathe and Maluti-a-Phofung municipalities to cut down their expenditures so that they can have enough money to pay their Eskom electricity debt.
“We have had series of meetings with Eskom where we were trying to see how best we could mitigate on these issues of municipalities not paying Eskom and also Eskom coming up threats of switching the power off. Dihlabeng have produced a payment plan though it overlapped until May next year and I encouraged them to scale down on certain things so that they can meet a deadline of March next year,” said Duma.