Eskom, Newcastle Municipality lock horns in court over debt

Eskom says it’s on the verge of financial collapse and it urgently needs all the money owed to it by municipalities. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it’s on the verge of financial collapse and it urgently needs all the money owed to it by municipalities.

The power utility is locked in a bitter court battle with Newcastle Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

The town owes Eskom R213-million amid the threat of power cuts.

“It is unacceptable that a national electricity utility should collapse under the weight of the debt,” said Eskom’s lawyer Sydwell Shangisa.

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However, Newcastle is pleading poverty, saying it can only pay R30-million every month.

Eskom, though, wants at least R60-million monthly. Ratepayers and businesses have joined in the legal fray.

The provincial co-operative governance department is concerned about the consequences power cuts would have.

“The cutting of electricity to a town the size of Newcastle will result in a human disaster. It will be catastrophic,” said KZN Cogta lawyer Adrian Rall SC.

Judgment has been reserved.

Source
eNCA