Carol Paton Editor at Large

The courts have stopped Eskom from cutting off the electricity of two rogue municipalities that owe it billions telling government that it needs to take responsibility and find a solution to the problem of defaulting municipalities. Hundreds of businesses and thousands of consumers have been affected by the cut-offs as Eskom tries to force municipalities to pay arrear debt. The Top 10 defaulting municipalities owe Eskom, which is financially stressed itself, R9,5bn. The court judgments are the result of applications brought by businesses in Maluti-A-Phofung (Harrismith) and Emfuleni (Veereniging and Vanderbijlpark) which faced electricity interruptions despite having paid the municipalities for electricity. The municipalities did not pay over the money received to Eskom. Maluti-A-Phofung owes Eskom nearly R3bn and Emfuleni owes R1bn. On Thursday the High Court in Johannesburg delivered interim relief in a matter brought by Cape Gate and seven other companies against Eskom, the Emful...

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