Eskom to cut power to municipalities


JOHANNESBURG, April 10 (Reuters) – S.Africa’s Eskom said on Friday it would cut electricity supply to 20 municipalities which owe the cash-strapped utility 3.68 billion rand ($306 million) in unpaid power bills.

The utility which supplies about 95 percent of power to Africa’s most advanced economy is facing a funding shortfall of about 200 billion rand ($17 billion) and it is getting a 23 billion rand cash injection from the government this year.

“Non-payment for electricity undermines Eskom’s statutory obligation to generate and supply electricity to municipalities nationally on a financially sustainable basis,” the utility’s acting chief executive Zethembe Khoza said in a statement.


Eskom said it would stop supplying power to the defaulting municipalities from June 5.

Weary South Africans are subjected to frequent controlled power cuts which Eskom implements to prevent the grid from being overwhelmed. The government has said its economic growth forecast for 2015 could halve to 1 percent from 2 percent because of power constraints.

Below is a list of the 20 defaulting municipalities:

•           Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality

•           Matjhabeng Municipality

•           Emalahleni Local Municipality

•           Ngwathe Local Municipality

•           Thaba Chweu Local Municipality

•           Lekwa Local Municipality

•           Govan Mbeki Municipality

•           City of Matlosana Local Municipality

•           Naledi Local Municipality

•           Thabazimbi Local Municipality

•           Msukaligwa Local Municipality

•           Lichtenburg Municipality

•           Nala Local Municipality

•           Makana Local Municipality

•           Madibeng Local Municipality

•           Randfontein Local Municipality

•           Dihlabeng Municipality

•           Nketoana Local Municipality

•           Nama Khoi Local Municipality

•           Westonaria Local Municipality

($1 = 12.0275 rand) (Reporting by Peroshni Govender; Editing by James Macharia)