On 26 June 2020 Eskom served a notice to Masilonyana Local Municipality in the Free State informing the Municipality of its intention to restrict the supply of electricity to the municipality.
According to a statement by ESKOM, this is a consequence of the municipality’s failure to pay for the service, thereby breaching its electricity supply agreement with Eskom. The measure is also intended to reduce the escalation of the municipality’s debt to Eskom.
Eskom recognises that the indefinite disconnection of electricity supply may cause undue hardship to consumers and members of the community, and may adversely affect the delivery of other services.
In view of this, and in order to minimise any hardship to consumers and members of the community, Eskom will restrict electricity supply in a regulated pattern as opposed to an outright disconnection. This will allow members of the community and consumers the opportunity to make alternative arrangements for the scheduled periods.
As a result of the municipality’s non-payment of overdue debt amounting to R74 814 149.35 as at 30 June 2020, the districts of Theunissen, Brandfort, Winburg and Verkeerdevlei will experience daily scheduled electricity outages between 06:00 – 20:00 starting on 15 July 2020.
This situation shall persist until the municipality has rectified the breach. Residents affected by the lack of electricity are encouraged to contact their municipal officials to enquire about the debt payment.
Masilonyana Local Municipality’s breach of its payment obligation to Eskom undermines and places in jeopardy Eskom’s ability to supply electricity nationally on a financially sustainable basis. In terms of both the provisions of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 and the Electricity Supply Agreement between Eskom and the municipality, Eskom is entitled to withhold electricity supply services to any municipality on account of non-payment of the electricity debt.
Eskom advises all consumers who will be adversely affected by the withholding of electricity supply services to take all necessary precautions and to treat all electrical equipment as if it was live in order to limit damages to their equipment, operations and business.