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Sakeliga threatens litigation if Eskom cuts Tshwane metro’s electricity


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Sakeliga threatens litigation if Eskom cuts Tshwane metro’s electricity

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2nd September 2022

By: Darren Parker
Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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Business community Sakeliga has sent a letter of demand to State-owned Eskom, indicating that any attempt to cut the supply of electricity to the Tshwane metro will lead to urgent litigation.

Sakeliga’s letter follows repeated threats made since August 23 by Eskom that the beleaguered utility might cut all electricity supply to Tshwane because of the metropolitan municipality’s overdue debt of R1.6-billion. This would include cutting electricity provision to those businesses and residents who dutifully pay their utility bills every month.


Sakeliga said on September 2 that, while it supports legal and rational debt recovery by Eskom, it does not condone such wholesale threats that are both illegal and irrational.

Eskom’s threat to halt all electricity supply in Tshwane is a harmful, illegal and irrational method by which paying businesspersons and other users are held hostage in an effort to recover municipal debt.


“It is extremely disruptive to economic activity, because even those businesses and other users that did pay their accounts now still need to prepare for interruptions of electricity supply."

“By turning off the power to businesses and others that have paid, Eskom creates a dark spiral of economic implosion that harms precisely the ability of those customers that have been paying their accounts diligently to continue to do so,” Sakeliga said, noting how unacceptable it would be for paying end-users and the city’s entire economic ecosystem to be so detrimentally affected by a dispute between two organs of State.

In the letter, Sakeliga refers Eskom to jurisprudence by which the utility is compelled to apply intergovernmental dispute resolution and follow rational debt recovery methods. This was the finding of the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2020, in the property group Resilient’s case against Eskom, in which Sakeliga acted as a friend of the court.

In that case, it was ruled as unconstitutional and unlawful for Eskom to enforce its debt against municipalities by interrupting the electricity supply – a critical service – in circumstances where end-users have met their payment obligations to those municipalities.

Sakeliga's letter of demand emphasises Eskom’s constitutional duties and requests a meeting with Eskom executive management to discuss alternative solutions.

Sakeliga said it was in favour of rational debt recovery and strict but lawful methods to curb non-payment.

“Should Eskom, however, decide to follow through on their threat to curtail electricity supply to the Tshwane metro, we will take legal action in the interest of our members and businesses and the public in general,” the organisation said. 


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