Hlokomelo Mabogale |
Apart from the usual load-shedding announcements, the power utility Eskom on Tuesday said it is a new owner of the 139 farms worth R2.5 billion, all thanks to the unpaid debt by Matjhabeng Local Municipality in Free State.
This move is to ensure that the municipality honours its more than R3.4 billion debt to Eskom.
Eskom said the Title Deeds of the farms will be endorsed in favour of Eskom until the debt dispute between Eskom and the municipality is finalised. “This step on the part of Eskom is a result of the repeated failures by the municipality to adhere to its payment obligations to Eskom for the bulk supply of electricity,” said the power utility.
As part of the agreement, the municipality has withdrawn its application in which it wanted to uplift the attachment of its bank account by Eskom, which was granted on 04 September 2020.
Eskom has been involved in numerous court processes since 2014, in an effort to recover the funds.
The total outstanding municipal debt of R31 billion continues to threaten Eskom’s sustainability. Municipalities have a responsibility to fulfil their financial obligations for the bulk supply of electricity.