More cuts dim hopes of restoring light

LYDENBURG – Despite the fact that Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) issued a statement to say that power cuts would not increase, Eskom has implemented another two-hour disconnection penalty.

Instead of the affected substation having four and a half hours of interrupted electricity, this will now increase to six and a half hours of no power per day. The new power cuts were implemented on Wednesday. This follows after another meeting between TCLM and Eskom went pear-shaped on Monday.

TCLM said in a statement that the municipality had a joint meeting with the premier, Cogta, Provincial Treasury and Eskom to engage on the ongoing power interruption. “However, the discussions did not yield any positive results as the power utility maintains its stance on load-shedding the municipality. “Consumers must bear in mind that in order to unlock any agreement with Eskom, an amount of R79,6 million must be paid up front before they can suspend the power interruption.”

The municipality urged the community and stakeholders to continue paying for their services. “We further advise those who bridged electricity to refrain from such activities because we are already incurring losses of electricity. The municipality will appreciate cooperation and understanding from all our clients and stakeholders at these trying times.” TCLM assured residents that the municipality “successfully managed to negotiate with the power utility not to effect more hours of load-shedding than the current schedule”.

This was proven to be inaccurate when Eskom issued a statement shortly thereafter informing residents of an increase in power interruptions. Eskom said that this was a last attempt to recover the debt from TCLM. On account of the latest development and ongoing Eskom saga, the three business chambers in Sabie, Graskop and Lydenburg/Mashishing issued Consumers must bear in mind that in order to unlock any agreement with Eskom, an amount of R79,6 million must be paid up front an urgent court application. Those directly responsible for the power disruptions will now be forced to object the court application.

The application is against nine parties, TCLM, the municipal manager, the executive mayor, the CFO, Eskom, NERSA, the minister of energy and the MEC of provincial Cogta and minister of national Cogta.

The new times are:

Mondays to Fridays from 06:00 – 09:00 and at night from 17:00 – 20:30.

On weekends power will be cut from 08:40 – 12:00 and again from 15:00 – 18:30.

Narda Vermaak

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