Cabinet will consider a detailed implementation plan in February to reduce the large amount of money municipalities owe Eskom, and increase the power utility’s rate of collection. Cash-strapped Eskom is owed more than R14bn by municipalities, with the top 10 nonpayers owing about R10bn. In turn, municipalities are owed R139bn by residents for services. Some residents have attributed their failure to pay for electricity to high levels of unemployment and poverty. Eskom had previously threatened to cut off supply to the municipalities. One of the proposals on the table to improve Eskom’s rate of collection is the installation of prepaid meters, said co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Zweli Mkhize, who chaired an interministerial task team looking into the municipal debt crisis. “Existing evidence indicates much higher rates of collection from prepaid meters as compared to conventional meters. The experience of the performance of prepaid meters must be tabled to c...

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