Two weeks to D-Day

The case between the combined business chambers of Lydenburg, Sabie and Graskop and 10 respondents, which include Eskom and Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) was referred to the High Court in Pretoria on July 31.

The case was heard in the Mbombelacourt after which it was decided to refer the matter to the High Court. Two similar cases to the one between the chambers and the10 respondents will also be addressed at this court. This comes after these chambers have been fighting the disconnection of electricity with Eskom since last year.

TCLM owed Eskom about R400 million when power interruptions were implemented on October 28 last year. In June Steelburger/Lydenburg News learned that this account once again increased, this time by R30 million.

Khulu Pasiwe, Eskom’s national spokesman told the newspaper on June 13 that municipalities like TCLM see these court interdictions as a “payment vacation”.

“When we go to court in August, we are certain that it will rule in Eskom’s favour. Municipalities like TCLM see this kind of ruling as a break from payment obligations. This time, the court will consider the fact that this account has once again increased and we are certain that the ruling will be in Eskom’s favour.”

Pasiwe said TCLM will definitely feel the crunch should the court rule in Eskom’s favour. “The power will first be disconnected for six hours a day. After a short period of non-payment, the interruptions will increase to 14 hours a day and if no settlement has been reached following this, the town will experience a total power disconnection.”

Gwylim Reese of the Sabie Business Chamber told the newspaper that the chambers are still geared to fight the disconnection. “We don’t know what the outcome will be now that the matter has been referred to the High Court. For the time being, residents can now rest assured that power will stay on for the next two weeks.”

Reese said they are not disputing the fact that Eskom needs to get the money owed to it by TCLM. “We are just saying, ‘Mr Eskom, yes, by all means, recover the money that is being own to you, but not by the deprivation of those who pay their accounts’. That will be prevalent during the upcoming court case.”

The case will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on August 14.

  AUTHOR
Narda Vermaak
Journalist

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