Suspension of Gamagara's electricity supply averted

Community News

Following a meeting with Es-kom and the Gamagara local municipality on Friday 16 March 2018, it was resolved that Ga-magara needs to make a payment of R7-million on or before 29 March 2018 to avert suspension.
This was officially confirmed in a letter from Eskom directed to the Municipal Manager of Gamagara, Protea Leserwane, dated 22 March 2018.
In the letter, Eskom thanked the municipality for presenting them with a payment plan in lign with Eskom's expectations.
Besides the immediate bulk pay-ment of R7-million, Gamagara needs to pay their current account on time as per their proposal and also to honour their terms and con-ditions as stipulated in their payment plan. According to Eskom, defaulting on these agreements will result in the implementation of the scheduled interruptions with 14 days' notice.
In a municipal meeting with Mr Leserwane on 20 March 2018, he said that he was trying his utmost to gather the funds to pay the required amount to Eskom. The following measures were suggested to cut costs and save on expenses wher-ever possible.
Gamagara municipality has 10 prominent account holders who are experiencing problems with their accounts. It was suggested that officials from Gamagara are to focus on them to resolve their problems so payments can follow soon.
Cost-cutting by immediately pay-ing attention to any water leakages.
Newspaper notices to encourage residents to pay accounts within se-ven days to prevent services from being suspended.
Implementation of a shift system for technicians and plumbers to save on overtime costs.
Mobilisation of community mem-bers to register as indigent. Resi-
dents who can proof that they earn less than R3500 per month qualify for waivers.
Mobilisation of community mem-bers to settle outstanding accounts so as to generate more income for the municipality.
Allocation of internet payments also seem to be a challenge at Ga-magara municipality and it was sug-gested that payments are preferably done at the municipality itself to alleviate this problem.
Meanwhile Eskom requested an increase of 30% in tariffs to make up for a deficit of R66-billion lost be-tween 2014 - 2017 due to corruption and loopholes in the multi-year price determination (MYPD) rules.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) invited com-ment from the public about this request. The deadline for submis-sion of comments was on 23 March 2018 though.