Eskom cuts thousands off

IOL pic july1 eskom pylon BLOOMBERG File picture: Dean Hutton, Bloomberg

Johannesburg - South Africa’s state-owned power utility cut supply to five districts with about 116 300 residents after the municipalities failed to pay the company for electricity.

Eskom Holdings disconnected supply at 7 a.m. in the Northern Cape province municipalities of Dikgatlong, Magareng, Ubuntu, Thembelihle and Renosterberg, it said on its Twitter account.

The cuts will continue until 10 a.m. and resume from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Johannesburg-based company said.

The move follows “the municipalities defaulting on existing payment terms and payment arrangements,” Eskom said.

The utility needs about R237 billion ($14.7 billion) of funding in the five years to 2019 and has secured 84 percent of the R46 billion needed for the fiscal year that ends in March, it said in November.

Eskom is owed about R32.3 billion by customers, including large industrial users and municipalities. Soweto, a township near Johannesburg, owes R9.8 billion, 95 percent of which is debt that’s more than 60 days overdue.

BLOOMBERG

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