Eskom retracts decision to cut Klerksdorp’s power

Eskom confirmed in a letter to AfriForum dated 4 November 2020 that it retracted a decision to cut the Matlosana Municipality’s electricity. This follows AfriForum’s letter to Eskom as well the Municipality on 30 October in which the civil rights organisation threatened to have the decision declared unconstitutional if they proceeded.

Eskom notified the Matlosana Municipality on 29 October that the electricity would be cut after the Municipality had failed to comply with an earlier agreement to pay its outstanding debt.

According to Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s Regional Head of Community Structures for the central region, the process that was followed constitutes a gross violation of residents’ constitutional rights. “The community in the Matlosana municipal area, which includes Klerksdorp, Stilfontein, Orkney and Hartbeesfontein, says that their electricity cannot be interrupted simply because the Municipality had failed to pay Eskom. Regular payers are now being punished for the Municipality’s misappropriation and negligence, which is completely unacceptable.”

Grobbelaar says that, although he understands Eskom’s frustration and that a solution must be found, the solution cannot be to the detriment of people who pay their accounts every month without fail. “We should find other ways of compelling municipalities to pay their monthly electricity bills to Eskom, and to pay their debt without affecting communities negatively. AfriForum will work together with Eskom to find possible solutions.”

AfriForum will monitor the situation continuously to ensure a solution is found and will work together with institutions without affecting communities negatively.

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