Strapped Makana faces being left in dark

Makana Municipality has about two weeks to come up with R51-million to pay Eskom or face a complete blackout in the region.

The cash-strapped municipality has been warned to pay the money in full by the end of the month or electricity will be cut in Grahamstown and surrounding areas.

Last month, the municipality paid EskomR7.4-million and it is now working on a proposal to convince the power utility to accept payment in monthly instalments.

Mayor Nomhle Gaga said the municipality did not have money to pay Eskom this month.

Officials were working around the clock trying to find some money in the municipality’s budget to be able to make a payment before the deadline. Besides the money owed to Eskom, the municipality owes R55-million to contractors for services rendered.

Acting municipal manager Mandisi Planga said a payment plan was being prepared to submit to Eskom.

“We had an agreement but we are reviewing it because last month we paid R7.4-million instead of the R12-million we owed. So we fell short.

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