The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, requesting an urgent meeting with Eskom following a series of unjustifiable and prolonged power cuts in areas such as Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Soweto and Orange Farm.
Mayor Mashaba has also vowed to institute urgent dispute resolution proceedings between the City and Eskom with the energy regulator, Nersa, in terms of Section 4 of the Electricity Act, should the utility fail to meet his request.
Eskom has instituted credit management procedures in the affected communities as a result of non-payment by some residents.
While the DA holds the view that those who fail to pay their electricity bills should be held accountable, we condemn Eskom’s apparent illogical punishment of entire communities.
It is unfair and frankly unethical that paying residents should have to bear the brunt for the actions of a few residents.
The DA also notes reports that Eskom has made a decision to not repair or maintain its infrastructure in areas with a high non-payment rates.
It is absolutely deplorable that the power utility would choose to not repair and uphold its own electricity infrastructure. This decision will not only sabotage services and economic activities in these communities, but Eskom will also be shooting itself in the foot as future repair costs will most certainly skyrocket.
Eskom has no right to punish innocent and law-abiding residents for the failures of others. The utility must not forget that its mandate to paying residents is to ensure the reliable and sustained provision of electricity.