Co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Zweli Mkhize told the nation this week that in the past six months municipal debt to Eskom has increased from R14bn to R17bn. This is now bordering on a national disaster for Eskom, which has major problems of its own. Eskom is the one state-owned enterprise that we simply cannot live without, and, if allowed to fail, would bring down with it the entire South African economy and its people. According to reports, the stand-off on the ballooning debt is a consequence of disagreements between Eskom and the municipalities on what is the right solution to the problem. Well, obviously the best solution is for the municipalities to pay up. However, they claim to have capacity challenges in collection, and, as a result, are unable to pass on the cash to Eskom. Businesses operating in many of the defaulting municipalities are contesting this and going to court arguing that they are paying the municipalities but the municipalities are n...

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