Local News/ 25 November 2019, 15:47pm/ Sompane MolefiPower utility Eskom, plans to cut power in Some of the Free State Municipalities including Mangaung Metro: Image supplied
Bloemfontein: The residents of Mangaung Metro, mostly those who are using prepaid electricity have threatened to shutdown the the city if it doesn’t settle it’s debts with Eskom.
Residents said they shouldn’t be included in mismanagement and failure to govern Municipality by the Mayor Olly Mlamleli and her Committee.
They threatened to go on the streets calling for the Mayor and her team to resign.
On Monday afternoon Eskom threatened to cut power for the entire Mangaung from 6am to 8pm if the city fails to settle it’s R36Billion debts.
Residents promised to go on rampage against the city should the planned power cut done by Eskom.
Walter Maseko told The Insider that: “Mangaung is disgusting, people uses prepaid system and the is pay as you use kind of system but they fail to pay the supplier of their bulk power.”
Maseko says the power account with Eskom by Centlec is not positively maintained citing that Eskom was not paid purposefully.
“You cannot have such debt while you sell the electricity. People buy own electricity in this city and you can ask yourself if the city has competent officials who were supposed to have paid the supplier,” Maseko said.
Not so long ago, provincial government helped municipaities to pay their debts and Mangaung was not on the list.
The communities of the city who mostly relies on prepaid electricity have applauded Eskom for taking a stance in trying to get back it’s money.
Sabelo Ntshagase told The Insider: “This is a way to go. Eskom does well to put it’s foot down. The company owes over 200 billion while it’s debtors owes it over 500 billion combined. I agree with them that they should cut the power although this will hit hard to the ordinary people who buys their power from centlec.”
Mangaung is the sole Free State Metropolitan Municipality and it is also rumoured to be struggling to pay other suppliers.
Over 80 percent of the residents including businesses are using prepaid electricity.
Both Mangaung and Centlec spokespersons Qondile Khedama and Lele Mamatu have confirmed the Eskom demands.
Among other municipalities that owes Eskom are Maluti -a-Phofung where 90 percent of residents have trapped their meter box and prevent municipality from fixing the problem. It is over 10 years since community of Qwaqwa using free electric.
It is reported that Mangaung is also owed billions by citizens and businesses.
Eskom plans to cut power from the 3rd of December.