BY REGINALD KANYANE
North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo has commended Eskom for reaching its 2016/17 target of connecting electricity to citizens of the province.
Mahumapelo addressing the media alongside the Premier’s Infrastructure Coordinating Committee Meeting (PICOCO) held at Cookes Lake, Mahikeng on Tuesday.
He further also applauded Eskom for its hard work.
“We have received an update from Eskom about the progress they are making as far as electricity connectivity is concerned and I must say it was impressive. Eskom has put a lot of work in making sure that more and more people in our province benefit from the electrification programme and they are way ahead of the target they have set for themselves,” Mahumapelo said.
Eskom has targeted to electrify 19 285 houses in the province for 2016/2017.
“So far, they have managed to connect 18 007, leaving 1 278 in the province. This means Eskom is well within their target as they will have completed the 19 285 by the end of March 2017 according its North West Regional Manager,” he said.
Eskom is currently cutting electricity for municipalities which owe them money. Five municipalities in the province where affected. Mahumapelo cited that he has established a Task team led by the MEC for Local Government and Human Settlement, Fenny Gaolaolwe and the MEC for Finance Economy and Enterprise Development, Wendy Nelson to assist the struggling municipalities.
“We have set up a task team in December last year to deal with the challenge of electricity debts and so far the team has made interventions in assist struggling municipalities to make payment plans working with Eskom.
“The municipalities affected by the cut offs is only Naledi and NW 405 Local Municipality. However, the team is currently working with Eskom to come up with an amicable solution to the challenges in these municipalities,” he explained,” he said.
Mahumapelo added that indicators show that residents in the communities do not pay electricity which makes many municipalities to end up accumulating huge debts.
MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements, Fenny Gaolaolwe has urged municipalities to pay ESKOM because the provincial government will take strict and decisive action on municipalities failing to pay their debts.
“We call upon all our people and the municipalities to pay for their electricity to avoid unnecessary blackouts. Eskom is not playing, it will cut off electricity if we do not pay our bills on time,” she said.