Electricity Pylon imageResidents of Emalahleni Local Municipality are facing a dark festive season after the municipality failed to reach a repayment agreement with Eskom over an outstanding debt.  

The decision comes after the power utility spent months grappling with Emalahleni and other municipalities to pay outstanding bills.

Eskom said in a statement that it would cut power to the indebted municipality next week. “After thorough review and consideration of the submissions received, Eskom has reached a decision on the contemplated electricity interruptions in eMalahleni Local Municipality.  Eskom has decided to proceed with the interruptions as of 14 December 2017.”

The utility said it would issue formal notices this week on how the cuts would proceed.

Earlier this year Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen said several municipalities were complying with the arrangements made with Eskom to settle their electricity debt.

The Minister said this when he briefed media after President Jacob Zuma convened a meeting with political office bearers from all three spheres of government.

According to figures provided by the Presidency after the meeting, 58 municipalities owe the power utility R7.5 billion.