There will be no electricity cut-off in the troubled Thaba Chweu local municipality in Mpumalanga, the provincial government has assured.
Utility provider Eskom issued an ultimatum to the municipality earlier this month, demanding payment of a R146 million long-standing debt, or the entire municipal area of 5 719km2 would be plunged into darkness on October 16.
Premier David Mabuza’s spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said the provincial government sent a team of nine MECs to Thaba Chweu to assist in addressing the challenges facing the municipality, including money owed to Eskom.
“There will be no cut-off of electricity as previously communicated. The public will be kept informed about any further developments in this regard.
We therefore request the community to rest assured that there will be no electricity cut-off whatsoever, until the negotiations have been concluded between the provincial government and Eskom,” said Mncwango on Tuesday.
More than 100 000 residents of the municipality could have been affected had the provincial government not intervened.
Thaba Chweu encompasses the tourist towns of Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg), Graskop and Sabie.
In September, a municipal task team was dispatched to Thaba Chweu by the provincial government in order to prevent what Mabuza described as “a total collapse”.