Claims and counterclaims as Eskom, City Power spat intensifies

Claims and counterclaims as Eskom, City Power spat intensifies

The spat between Eskom and City Power over unpaid debts intensified on Tuesday. 

Eskom suspends load shedding for three days in parts of Joburg

On Monday, Eskom announced that it had taken legal action against the Johannesburg utility in an effort to obtain a declaratory order to force the utility to pay R1 billion in debt.=


The case is expected to be heard on 4 June.


Eskom said City Power started to default on its payments in October 2023, and no payment was received for the March 2024 invoice.


Eskom, which has blamed its financial woes on metros’ and municipalities’ non-payment, said City Power’s debt had reached unprecedented levels.


"This dire situation not only undermines Eskom's financial sustainability but also threatens its ability to maintain essential infrastructure, invest in new technologies and meet the growing energy demands of the province,” said Eskom’s Gauteng spokesperson Amanda Qithi. 


"Over and above, City Power declared a dispute regarding potential overbilling on bulk purchase invoices dating back to 2021. Eskom denies the claims made by City Power and will prove its position through the arbitration process."


"In terms of the electricity supply agreements sanctioned by the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, if a municipality raises a dispute with Eskom, it must still pay."


In a statement, the City of Joburg said it would oppose the court application.


The city claimed Eskom owes it R3.4 billion for incorrect billing over the past three years.


"The city pays Eskom about R1 billion for electricity monthly. The city has, on various occasions, raised concerns with the national energy supplier that it is being overbilled for the service received each month, since 2021.


"In instances of potential discrepancies, it must be noted that it is due to this checked metering infrastructure that City Power was able to ascertain and quantify the extent of overbilling by Eskom."


"More often than not, Eskom chooses to ignore these discrepancies that are brought to their attention.


"Eskom has admitted in some cases that there have been potential billing inaccuracies and has so far refunded City Power at least R483m over the recent years."


The metro has since proposed that an independent electricity expert be tasked with resolving the impasse.


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