Eskom has announced that it will be disconnecting five municipalities in the Northern Cape province after they defaulted on payment agreements.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe explained that the due to shortfalls in payments the utility must take action.

“[This action comes after] about three years of defaulting, sometimes even more, depending on the municipality. Not to say they were not paying, they were, but not in full and unfortunately these amounts accumulate interest”, Phasiwe told EWN.

The five municipalities that will be affected are Magareng, Ubuntu, Thembelihle, Dikgatlong and Renosterberg. The power to this these areas will be cut at 10am for four hours and then from 6pm to 8pm.

At the start of June 2015, Eskom announced that it would begin interrupting supply to the top 20 defaulting municipalities. These 20 municipalities owe Eskom R3.68 billion collectively. To put this into perspective municipalities around South Africa owe the utility R4.6 billion in total.

This amounts to almost half of Eskom’s R11 billion shortfall in revenue which the utility is trying to pry back by increasing tariffs.

While this is happening in the Northern Cape, Eskom has said it as also sent letters to seven municipalities in the Mpumalanga province warning them to settle their accounts or face power cuts.

[Via – EWN] [Image CC by 2.0 – Frédéric BISSON]