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Eskom to seize Emfuleni assets

EMFULENI - Eskom has obtained a judgement of R1.3-billion against the Emfuleni Local Municipality for continued failure to settle its current account and accumulated arrears. According to a statement issues by Eskom the order was granted by the Pretoria High Court in October 2022 allowing Eskom to proceed with the execution of the judgement. The electricity generator has started with the execution steps against the municipality to recover some of the municipality debt, including attaching the local authority's bank accounts and movable assets. Emfuleni Municipality is currently indebted to Eskom to the amount of R5.3-billion despite several litigations brought by the power utility since March 2018 to get the municipality to service its account. Despite the municipality's healthy revenue collection rate of about 80% from its customers, the local government still failed to pay a portion of its overdue account. Eskom has also served Emfuleni with further summons of R3.4 billion for non-payment of its bulk electricity supply and to date, the local authority has failed to file a plea setting out the reasons for non-payment. According to the statement this resulted in Eskom and the municipality customers applying to the court to transfer the municipality's electricity distribution license or part thereof to Eskom. This application is to be heard in March 2023 and would set a precedence for municipalities failing to pay their Eskom debt and complying with the Electricity Supply Agreements (ESA). Eskom continues to comply with the ESA signed by both parties by supplying the local government with the required electricity to meet its obligations to its customers. Eskom says the overdue debt is impacting negatively on the public utility's liquidity, financial performance, and sustainability, leaving the public utility no option but to borrow in order to meet its financial commitments.

PHOTO: (Supplied)


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