A meeting that was meant to assist in resolving issues between Eskom and Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM), instead resulted in more confusion for residents. The two entities released contradictory statements after discussions in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
This comes after Eskom announced on 19 November that it has plans to implement electricity cuts early in December. However, according to MMM spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, the talks this week resulted in an agreement that there was no money owed to the electricity supplier and that plans to shut down power had been stopped.
“The engagements rotated around whether Centlec owes Eskom or whether they are servicing the current account. The meeting agreed that Centlec does not owe Eskom and is servicing the current account,” stated Khedama.
“As MMM, we reassure members of the community that the warning as issued by Eskom is invalid. No interruptions in the power supply are envisaged and our electricity entity is not owing Eskom,” he added.
On the other hand, Eskom explicitly expressed in a new statement that residents may indeed need to prepare for cuts in the middle of the festive season should an agreement not be reached today.
“The notice issued by Eskom is still valid. Should MMM and Eskom not come to a payment agreement by close of business on Friday, 29 November 2019, Eskom will continue with interruption of electricity services to MMM on Tuesday,” stated spokesperson Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg.
“Eskom in no way regrets issuing a statement informing the public of the intended interruption of electricity services, nor does Eskom agree that the statement caused unnecessary tension and panic. Not informing the public of the pending action would have been irresponsible and negligent by Eskom,” she added.
So far power cuts are set to take place in Mangaung Metro, Mafube and Mantsopa Local Municipalities on 3 December 2019. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele