Several Newcastillians expected Newcastle to experience power outages this morning, September 30.
This follows Eskom’s recent notice claiming power interruptions would begin at 6 am today. With further interruptions planned until Newcastle Municipality settle its debt with the power utility.
However, there seems to be a glimmer of hope for Newcastle.
In the quest to keep the power on, the Newcastle Municipality has embarked on a mission to obtain an interdict from the Pietermaritzburg High Court to put a halt on Eskom’s intentions.
The Newcastle Municipality, through the leadership of Mayor Cllr Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, would like to assure residents; it is doing all it can to address the decision by Eskom to interrupt the supply of electricity in Newcastle.
The municipality is currently in extensive negotiations with Eskom, with assistance from the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) under MEC Sipho Hlomuka. These engagements are at an advanced stage and the municipality is optimistic they will find a lasting breakthrough.
“The leadership of the municipality is ceased with the matter and the last thing that we want is an interruption to the electricity supply. We have put forward a payment plan and are awaiting Eskom to give us approval. As soon as we reach an agreement with Eskom we will communicate with residents” said Cllr Mahlaba.
So far, the power outages will not take place until the outcome of the court case, which will take place on October 3. Once, the respective parties have provided their relevant arguments, the High Court will decide whether the interdict against Eskom will be granted or not.
The Newcastle Municipality is now urging residents not to panic, as they strongly believe the action and commitment shown by the municipality to address this important issue will yield positive results.
“We also understand that the goal of growing the economy of our province is one we share strongly with Eskom and know that a complete blackout would spell disaster for the province and country growth prospects,” concludes the Newcastle Municipality.