MEC Anton Bredell welcomes Eskom court victory

Minister Bredell sounds warning for non-paying municipalities after Eskom court victory in the case against Letsemeng Municipality in the Free State

Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning today said he notes and supports the Eskom court victory against Letsemeng Municipality in the Free State which owns Eskom R108.5 million in unpaid electricity bills. The Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the Municipality to pay Eskom all the monies owing to them promptly and when due.

Bredell said: “The Eskom vs Letsemeng verdict should be a serious warning to all municipalities who think they can get away with not paying Eskom.”

Bredell said the Western Cape Department of Local Government is working in close cooperation with Eskom in the Province to prevent such situations from developing. Part of the preventative measures is to facilitate agreed payment arrangements between Eskom and affected municipalities with accumulated outstanding debt and ensure that these arrangements are honoured. “Paying your electricity is a basic legal obligation, and since municipalities receive electricity income from its citizens, it is simply criminal for local authorities to then not pay their dues to Eskom.”

Bredell said he met earlier this year with Eskom’s Western Cape representatives as well as Eskom CEO Andre de Ruiter, where the issue of non-paying municipalities was amongst the issues discussed. “We told Eskom they must notify us sooner than later if they have payment problems in the Western Cape. We need to address these situations before it balloons into the hundreds of millions of Rands, as in the Free State case.”

Source: Government of South Africa