Electricity Interruptions now in their third week have been extended from two to three hours in the Northern Cape towns of Vanderkloof, Griekwastad, and Hopetown.
Electricity supply interruptions to Tsatsabane Local Municipality has been suspended after the municipality and Eskom reached and signed a payment agreement on Wednesday. According to Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe, Tsantsabane made a payment to enable negotiations. “We are hopeful that the remaining municipalities in the Northern Cape like Siyancuma, Thembelihle, and Renosterberg will also follow the example that has been set by Tsantsabane so that they too can enjoy the benefits of uninterrupted electricity”.
Siyathemba and Kai Garib Local Municipality avoided power interruptions by making payments before interruptions started.
Yesterday the Democratic Alliance issued the following press release.
The Democratic Alliance urges the Northern Cape Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements & Traditional Affairs to obtain some much-needed clarity on the current electricity cuts chaos in the Northern Cape.
After Eskom publicly stated that negotiations with provincial government led to the suspension of intended electricity cuts, it has now come to light that electricity disruptions have continued in some municipalities. This includes the Siyancuma, Renosterberg and Thembelihle Local Municipalities. This state of affairs was also acknowledged during the recent NCOP oversight visit, although Eskom has denied that they have implemented any loadshedding in the Northern Cape.
It is not clear whether it is Eskom which have dishonoured their agreements, if municipalities have already broken their repayment plans or if municipalities are implementing some loadshedding on their own initiative on the sly. Democratic Alliance councillors will be following up in affected municipalities to determine the cause.
It remains unjustifiable that residents must bear the brunt for municipal mismanagement and maladministration. Income generated by electricity sales must be ringfenced for the sole purpose of paying the amounts owed to the power utility as well as for the maintenance of electrical infrastructure. That this is not done, worsens the situation immeasurably.
We have also escalated the matter to our colleagues in Parliament for further investigation.
by Ismail Obaray, MPL – DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs