MPS Suggest ESKOM Write Off Municipalities’ “Historical” Debt

A dispute over whether municipalities should bear the responsibility of maintaining the country’s electricity distribution network has been debated in Parliament.

Eskom flags. Picture: EWN.

A dispute over whether municipalities should bear the responsibility of maintaining the country’s electricity distribution network has been debated in Parliament.

It’s a battle that’s raged between local councils and Eskom for years.

Parliamentarians say the matter can’t be resolved while cash-strapped municipalities are expected to pay millions in debt owing to the power utility.

Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen was expected to the lead the meeting, but his absence has enraged MPs.

An advisory panel is to be established to consider related legislation on who should bear responsibility for electricity distribution infrastructure.

But parliamentarians say the issue is going around in circles, and there appears to be no progress or suggestions on how to resolve it.

Energy committee chairperson Fikile Majola says: “So the more we delay, we are not going to be able to resolve this problem. It is going to become insurmountable.”

MPs say it’s time Eskom considers writing off ‘historical’ debt owed by municipalities because it’s unlikely they will ever be able to pay the more than R10 billion they owe.

By:  Lindsay  Dentlinger/EWN

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