The Eskom Political Task Team has agreed that all avenues should be explored to deal with the utility’s debt challenge, including dealing with the underlying causes; for example inefficiencies, cost overruns, misappropriation of funds, cash losses due to unpaid debt by municipalities and other entities, as well as tariff determinations from the regulator to allow the utility to recover relevant costs.
During a meeting convened and chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza on November 6, a progress report was received on the debt owed by municipalities to Eskom.
It was reiterated at the meeting that the “culture’’ of nonpayment by consumers to municipalities negatively affected the ability of municipalities to service their creditors, especially Eskom.
“The sustainability of Eskom is in the best interest of the country. If we do not make a change and ensure that services are paid for, we will not have a country left. It is for this reason that we are calling on all of us to join the campaign to encourage citizens to pay for the services they receive so that municipalities are able to collect revenue, meet their debt obligations to Eskom and provide quality services to the communities,” said Mabuza.
The meeting took a decision that the culture of nonpayment of services should be discouraged and be decisively dealt with. The Political Task Team also deliberated on various ways in which national and provincial government would join the campaign to ensure that services delivered to municipalities are paid for, with State organs to take the lead and not default on payments.
The Eskom Political Task Team has also directed that a concurrent plan within the District Development Model framework, must be considered during the implementation of the Just Energy Transition to ensure the sustainability of surrounding communities where power stations are located.
The Just Energy Transition refers to a transition towards a low-carbon, climate resilient economy and society in a manner that does not impede socioeconomic development.
Meanwhile, an update was also presented on the reduction of emissions by Eskom and it was agreed that the Just Energy Transition should be implemented in a phased manner over a period of time with the objective of transitioning Eskom to net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
An integrated emission reduction plan for the utility has been completed and approved by the  Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries.
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