With the Mpofana Municipality (Mooi River) in danger of being plunged into darkness, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has called on residents to pay for services.
Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the department was exploring a number of options to address the issue, including making residents aware of the importance of paying for services.
The municipality is at risk of a power blackout. Eskom has threatened to impose power cuts, accusing the municipality of defaulting on payments and failing to honour payment arrangements.
The municipality allegedly owes Eskom about R120million. The power supply could be disconnected by as early as next month.
It is among six municipalities identified, but not named by Eskom, that are defaulting on payments. Eskom declined to elaborate on the debts, citing client confidentiality.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka was scheduled to meet Eskom and Mpofana officials on Wednesday to table a new payment arrangement.
Sources have previously told The Mercury that at an emergency meeting last week, Eskom had expressed reservations about Mpofana’s ability to pay, saying it had failed to honour other payment arrangements.
“MEC Hlomuka is working hard to ensure that the lights stay on in Mooi-Mpofana. Part of that is to sensitise community members on the issues of non-payment. It is up to the Mooi-Mpofana community to help keep the lights on,” said Mabaso.
“It’s not only community members who are defaulting in paying, as some businesses and farms are also owing,” he noted.
Opposition party councillors have previously said townships such as Bruntville were the source of the challenges faced by the municipality because many residents did not pay for electricity.
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Source: The Mercury
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