Dihlabeng Municipality in Bethlehem said they are surprised to learn about Eskom’s intentions to disconnect electricity in their area.
Dihlabeng’s spokesperson Tsheliso Maitse said they submitted a payment plan to Eskom but never received any feedback.
This comes after Eskom’s announcement that they will be cutting power supply that will affect more than a million people at Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality in Qwaqwa, Dihlabeng Municipality in Bethlehem and Ngwathe Municipality in Parys. Maitse says they hoping a resolution will be reached.
“The matter has been transferred to the provincial government for intervention and assistance. However we remain optimistic that an amicable solution will be reached between us and Eskom. We really don’t know how it all came to this as we have been adhering to the proposed payment plan and making monthly payments,” said Maitse.
Three Free State municipalities defaulted or short-paid on their current account for a prolonged period and have substantial arrear debt. Maluti-a-Phofung owes R418.6 million, Ngwathe owes R257.9 million and Dihlabeng has the debt of R59.1 million. Dihlabeng reported in early September this year that they will be paying Eskom R12 million per month towards their arrears which they thought it would have stretched till November 2015.
Eskom earlier warned that they would terminate electricity to Dihlabeng as well as two other Eastern Free State municipalities on August 8. They however gave Dihlabeng, Ngwathe and Maluti-a-Phofung till the end of August to submit their payment plans. Ngwathe comprises Parys, Koppies and Heilbron. Maluti-a-Phofung consists of Qwa-Qwa, Harrismith, and Kestel.