AfriForum Obtains Court Order Regarding Unlawful Electricity cuts – A Mkhondo electricity disaster was successfully prevented by AfriForum.
Recently, the civil rights organisation AfriForum, as well as the civil rights watchdog AfriBusiness, successfully approached the North Gauteng High Court to force Eskom to repair the electricity supply to towns in the Northern Cape. They obtained a court order which prohibits Eskom from cutting electricity supply before a matter has been argued in Court. AfriForum’s Marcus Pawson, said, “No consumer can be held accountable for the poor management of municipal finances or Eskom’s recovery of outstanding debt at municipalities.
Eskom is damaging its own image even further with this bullying tactic and Afri- Forum will not allow Government to shift its debt onto consumers.” AfriForum also asked the court for a declaratory order, preventing Eskom from cutting the electricity of any other town where the municipalities have failed to pay their outstanding accounts to Eskom. AfriForum has already supplied Eskom with alternative options on how to recover municipal debt from the state. Although a press release is still awaited, it has come to our attention that Afriforum has thus successfully stopped the cutting of the Mkhondo electricity by Eskom as well.
Johann Weber (Chairman of Afri- Forum in Piet Retief) says: “Another issue at hand is the receiving of threats by consumers, from Municipalities, that their supply will be cut off should they not pay their outstanding debt. Although it is good practice to have rigid debt collection policies and to cut supply to consumers who are financially irresponsible, it is, however, totally unreasonable to threaten consumers who are victims of poor account and supply management, such as utility bills not being furnished for up to three months.” Mr. Weber encourages consumers to pay their outstanding debt or to declare a dispute in cases where their bills are inaccurate. He also urged the Mkhondo Local Municipality to establish good governance and sound financial management.