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Provinces ask for national govt’s help in addressing municipalities’ Eskom debt

One municipality’s Eskom debt makes up just over 30% of its R6 billion budget. Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile said municipalities are working with Eskom to resolve the debt.

FILE: MEC Lebogang Maile said municipalities are working with Eskom to resolve the debt. Picture: Twitter/@LebogangMaile1

CAPE TOWN – Provinces have pleaded for national government intervention to help resolve the growing Eskom debt of municipalities.

Provincial departments of cooperative governance and traditional affairs on Wednesday raised the matter at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

It’s day two of the NCOP’s local government week.

The council’s virtual hearings into local government on Wednesday heard how one municipality owed Eskom more than R2 billion.

The municipality’s Eskom debt makes up just over 30% of its R6 billion budget.
Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile said municipalities were working with Eskom to resolve the debt.

“Unfortunately, that municipality owes Eskom more than R2.3 billion. The municipality has a R6 billion budget, so that is huge.”

Maile’s Eastern Cape counterpart Xolile Nqatha said the province is the hardest hit by Eskom debt and has called for intervention.

“Most municipalities have huge Eskom debt, that they are unable to pay. The provincial and national government need to intervene to find a possible solution on this matter.”

Free State Cogta MEC Skully Nxangisa says some municipalities have fallen even further in arrears with not just Eskom, but water boards as well.

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