KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), under the directive of MEC Sipho Hlomuka, today, 2 September, met with Eskom in an attempt to avert an electricity interruption at the Newcastle local municipality.
The meeting follows Eskom’s publishing of a notice of intent to interrupt electricity supply to Newcastle daily beginning from Monday 30 September 2019 at 6 am. This is due to the municipality’s overdue debt of about R200 Million to the power utility.
Cogta’s delegation is seized with solving this impasse, which could have a catastrophic impact on the economy of Newcastle, which supports thousands of families. A number of options were explored in today’s meeting which includes a revised payment plan, which would be drawn up by the municipality with the help of the Cogta and the Provincial Treasury. Engagements are still ongoing between the department and Eskom and it is hoped that a solution will be found soon.
The MEC for Cogta, Sipho Hlomuka has urged residents who might have billing disputes with the municipality to come forward so that they can be quickly resolved by the municipality. “We are appealing to all residents across the province, to stay up to date with their utilities as failure to do so compromises the finances of our municipalities and their ability to continue to render service. Those that have billing disputes with municipalities, we urge them to come forward so that their issues can be resolved” said Hlomuka.