Eskom says that the City of Tshwane has defaulted on its payments due for the third time – and the next course of action for the utility is to approach the courts.
In a statement on Wednesday ( 14 June 2023), Eskom said that Tshwane’s March 2023 invoice (payable by 19 April) was short-paid by R179 million, while the April invoice of R776 million (payable by 18 May 2023) was not paid at all.
Eskom also noted that it had issued the municipality with its May 2023 invoice of R904 million, which is payable by 19 June 2023, but has little confidence that this invoice will be settled.
These mispayments mean that the city has defaulted on its utility bill with Eskom for the third time since October 2022, and its debt has now escalated to R1.9 billion as of 9 June 2023.
At the end of last year, Eskom said the debt in Tshwane is continuing to grow “unabated”, and the municipality’s bill has grown substantially.
Eskom added in its latest statement that it has engaged with the city on several occasions regarding its failure to settle the debt it owes to the utility – adding that it does not have the financial capacity to continue supplying bulk electricity to the metro without the necessary payments.
On 30 November 2022, Tshwane’s bill was R1.6 billion after it failed to pay the September bill of R887 million, which was payable on 19 October, and sat in arrears of R699 million. The October bill of R894 million, which was payable on 16 November, also remains unpaid.
In the past, Eskom has also taken the matter to the National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to assist in mediating its debt battle with the City of Tshwane.
However, “regardless of all these efforts, the situation is worsening,” said Eskom.
As a result of its fruitless engagements with the municipality, the utility added that it is now exploring all avenues available to recover the debt, including but not limited to approaching the courts for relief, said Eskom.
As it stands, Eskom added that it appeals to the City of Tshwane to immediately settle the March and April 2023 invoices and to pay monthly accounts on the due date.