Please pay us, Eskom begs municipalities

Eskom has urged municipalities to prioritise paying the power utility for electricity to improve its revenue situation.

Just days after Eskom received a downgrade from S&P Global Ratings‚ the company used its platform as a corporate sponsor to the SA Local Government Association(Salga) conference to call on municipalities to start paying.

Eskom customer services group executive Ayanda Noah said: “[What]is of concern to us is the rise in [municipal] debt.

“They are aware that they owe us money.

“They have consumed energy and the debt is not coming down – in about three months it escalated by about R3-billion.

“I beg you to please honour the payment arrangements you have signed.

“We are aware that you will begetting the equitable share in the next two days.

“Please remember us and also in March when you get the other equitable share.

“You are aware that Eskom was downgraded last week.

“The ratings agencies and our auditors are very concerned about our inability to collect money from the municipalities.”

Municipalities provide 42% of Eskom’s revenue, which makes them crucial to the company’s financial health.

In September‚ municipalities owed EskomR9.2-billion.The power utility has established a revenue collections plan.

It will be rolled out fully in four municipalities– two in the Eastern Cape and two in the Free State.

It includes the installation of smart meters which make consumers pay for electricity upfront and prevent electricity theft.

Last week‚ S&P Global Ratings downgraded Eskom’s credit rating and kept its outlook negative.

The rating agency said Eskom was facing financial pressure as a result of an ongoing court case against it.