Eskom has been taken to court in a bid to stop it cutting electricity supply to communities in eight nonpaying municipalities.

The power utility decided to impose blackouts on the municipalities in the Free State from this Thursday.

Eskom took the decision on December 22 almost R700m owed by the municipalities of Nala‚ Nketoana‚ Dihlabeng‚ Moqhaka‚ Mantsopa‚ Mafube‚ Masilonyana and Tokologo.

According to Eskom’s plan‚ residents will from Monday to Friday get no electricity from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7.30pm. At weekends, power will be cut from 8.30am to 11am and 3pm to 5.30pm.

But lobby group AfriForum said Eskom was wrong to punish residents and businesses for failures of municipalities. The group wants the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to interdict the power utility.

Judge Hans Fabricius briefly heard the urgent application on Tuesday. He postponed it to Wednesday to allow himself time to read Eskom’s replying affidavit.

Eskom finalised its papers on Monday night‚ while AfriForum brought its application on December 29.

Eskom’s counsel, Modise Khoza SC‚ said he would oppose the application on the grounds that AfriForum had no right to take up the matter.

TMG Digital/Sowetan

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