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Eskom has warned 11 Free State municipalities, representing more than 50 towns, that it would disconnect their power supply if they did not pay their electricity bills by July 20.
On Wednesday, Democratic Alliance deputy shadow minister for energy David Ross said the Free State government should intervene in the matter to prevent an energy crisis in the province.
The municipalities which would be affected by the notices were Mangaung (Bloemfontein), Matjhabeng (Welkom), Moqhaka (Kroonstad), Ngwathe (Parys), Dihlabeng (Bethlehem), Naledi, Kopanong, Mohokare, Mafube, Masilonyana and Nala.
The DA had officially requested the Free State MEC for co-operative governance Mosebenzi Zwane and Energy Minister Dipuo Peters to intervene, Ross said in a statement.
He said the Public Protector had also been asked to investigate the situation.
Ross said many of these municipalities provided "weak" basic services such as clean water and sanitation.
"Consumers from these municipalities will soon be without electricity due to the provincial government's mismanagement of taxpayers' money."
Ross said Zwane must have been aware of several interventions between Eskom and the municipalities and should have taken preventative measures.
"This has clearly not happened," he said.
The DA said the reason for the looming energy crisis was poor financial management and it should be dealt with.
The party believed that "financial boosts" would merely treat the symptoms of the problem.
A letter from Eskom to the DA on the notices given to municipalities said they had followed after various failed formal meetings with municipalities to negotiate agreements to pay electric bills. - Sapa
POSTED BY: CFC NEWSROOM