Newcastle received national media coverage in September and early October, after it was made known, the Newcastle Municipality owed Eskom a jaw-dropping R213 123 387.
Despite the municipality obtaining a court order to stop Eskom from cutting the town’s power, it seems Newcastle Municipality is not the only organisation which has not paid its debt.
Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Public Enterprises, claims three neighbouring countries owe Eskom a combined R632 million for providing them with electricity.
In a written reply in response to a question posed by Democratic Alliance MP Denis Joseph, Gordhan claimed the debtors are as follows:
- Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) of Zimbabwe – which owes Eskom a total of R322 million;
- Zesco of Zambia – which owes the power utility a staggering R221 million;
- Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM) – which owes R89 million.
While the three countries acknowledge the fact that they owe the money to Eskom, Gordhan says the respective authorities claim financial constraints and economic difficulties are the main cause of delay in settling their outstanding accounts.
He adds that Zesa and Eskom have established a payment plan agreement for the settlement of the outstanding debt. Furthermore, Zesa is honouring the payment plan and paying off the debt as per the agreement.
Currently, Eskom has a total debt of R450 billion. Out of this, South African municipalities owe Eskom a staggering R25 billion.
As the power utility struggles to receive payment for the services it renders, what are your thoughts on Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe owing a combined R632 million? What steps do you feel the South African government and Eskom should take?
Share your thoughts and views with us in the comment section below.