…as MEC Maile intervenes
Eskom has ceased the seizure of Emfuleni properties after the municipality made an immediate payment of R50 million towards settling the R2.3 billion debt.
The deal was reached yesterday during a meeting which was convened by the Gauteng Cogta MEC Lebohang Maile between Eskom CEO André de Ruyter and all municipalities within the Gauteng City Region.
Emfuleni delegation which comprised of senior managers was led by the Acting Mayor, Pius Maseko.
Eskom confirmed receipt of the payment.
“Emfuleni Local Municipality will pay Eskom R50 million by end of business on Tuesday (17 March 2020); Eskom will suspend the seizure of assets upon receipt of payment; Eskom confirmed it has received the R50 million payment as agreed; Joint teams will work out a feasible, sustainable and affordable payment plan for consideration by both parties; Emfuleni Local Municipality will henceforth pay Eskom its monthly accounts in full,” reads part of the joint statement which was issued after the meeting.
Emfuleni also committed to stick to their monthly repayment plan.
“Other matters will be discussed in a broader meeting to be convened in a month’s times wherein progress reports will be tracked and reflected upon,” said the Council Communications Manager Stanley Gaba in a statement issued to Vaal Observer.
The meeting follows the seizure of assets of Emfuleni Local Municipality by the Sheriff of the Court due to R2.3 billion debt owed to Eskom. Nothing was said about returning or auctioning of the seized properties
Speaking during the meeting Maile said: “The meeting signaled the beginning of the much needed coordination between government and various organs of state to ensure a systematic, holistic approach in resolving issues that might hinder delivery of services to communities.”
“Both parties collectively agreed to work closely in promoting a culture of paying for services on time, starting from municipalities and down to communities. This will accord Eskom, which faces considerable financial constraints, an opportunity to meet its own obligations with its lenders,” he said
In Gauteng alone, Eskom is owed R3.77 billion by a number of municipalities, with the exception of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan; City of Johannesburg and Midvaal Local Municipality