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Only 28 of the 136 munis owing Eskom R58bn-plus approved to participate in write-off scheme

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10th October 2023

By: Terence Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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Only 28 municipalities have to date been given approval by the National Treasury to participate in the Eskom Municipal Debt Relief Support Programme, which was announced in the February Budget as part of a R254-billion debt-relief package that has been extended to the utility.

The programme is designed to enable Eskom to write off municipal arrears debt, which stood at R58.5-billion at the end of March with 136 of the country’s 257 municipalities in arrears.

In September, Eskom indicated that its outstanding municipal arrears debt had increased to above R65-billion.

The National Treasury did not name the 28 municipalities nor what they owed Eskom individually or collectively.

The scheme has several strict conditions, however, including minimum collections stipulations, a ringfencing of the Eskom account which should be paid first, a restriction on borrowings and a potential revocation of a municipality’s distribution licence should it fail to comply with the conditions.

The 28 approvals arise from 37 applications, with the National Treasury still assessing the other nine.

There were also 25 additional applications currently serving before respective provincial treasuries for submission for approval.

In addition, the National Treasury announced that the closing date for applications under the debt-relief programme had been extended to October 31, from an initial cut-off date of September 30.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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