Eskom cuts averted… for now

All indications are that there will be one cut on 9 October from 06:00 till 08:00.


In a late twist to the Eskom saga, Govan Mbeki Municipality (GMM) have managed to reach an agreement with Eskom regarding the impending electricity cut offs, according to sources within the municipality.
All indications are that there will be one cut on 9 October from 06:00 till 08:00.
GMM managed to pay Eskom about R43m last week, but still short-payed by R49m. Another R80m need to be payed to Eskom, reliable sources told The Bulletin.
The current outstanding Eskom account is approximately R550m. This amount forms part of an estimated R750m outstanding creditors’ payment.
The migration to a new financial system only made matters worse as the officials, in the absence of proper leadership, were not prepared for the migration. This migration should have been completed by 1 July sources within the municipality claims. The account problems also manifested their hold on the debtor’s book as the outstanding debtors is currently hovering around R1,2Billion outstanding. Compare this to the total annual budget of R1,6 billion, and it becomes clear that the current administration will not be able to rectify the situation in the foreseeable future, according to DA councillor, Ciska Botha.
According to sources within the municipal work force, the absence over the past few months of the MMC of Finance, as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), clearly shows that the current executive is not able to give guidance to the officials. A CFO has been appointed under a lot of controversy as the opposition parties have claimed that the appointment was unlawful. The ANC majority nonetheless continued with the appointment as they used their majority to overrule all objections.
“Govan Mbeki Municipality is at its worst ever! The municipality has lost control of their finances,” says Cllr Botha. “The current situation is so bad that the municipality is actually bankrupt! The ANC is incapable of running this municipality. The ANC councillors should get their house in order and start working for the people. We have made a number of suggestions and its time that they start listening to us, the DA. GMM will default again on their agreements and we will be back to square one.”
“The EFF states categorically that Govan Mbeki Municipality’s financial status is in a mess, the municipality failed time and again to honour debt settlement agreements with Eskom,” says EFF Cllr Jean Sebolela. “Council owes Eskom over R500m that accumulates every month, leading to Eskom proposing to affect its power interruptions plan as from 9 October. We, the EFF, propose that electricity must be returned to Eskom as the municipality is failing to implement its credit control policy for collecting revenue.
Aranda Nel-Buitendag, councillor from the Freedom Front Plus, states that the officials in the finance department have no idea what they are doing. “There is a lot of issues, such as accounts that are incorrect and incomplete. Payments that are not allocated to the accounts, accounts that are not send to account holders resulting in people not knowing what their real accounts balances are and what to pay. Not everyone is billed and of those who are billed, only a handful are paying. It’s time that everyone pays their bills and not just the main towns.”
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