- Cyril Ramaphosa says that areas which owe Eskom a lot of money, like Soweto, must pay up
- The president made the comment while lamenting the current situation at Eskom
- He pointed out that that Eskom's electricity prices have gone up by 800% in the last few decades
Cyril Ramaphosa has said that areas which have not been paying their electricity bills, such as Soweto, will need to start forking out money.
The president made the statement on Tuesday at a conference at the University of Johannesburg.
This comes as Soweto alone reportedly owes Eskom more than R18 billion Rand.
Ramaphosa's comment follows Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's announcement of a R59 billion bailout for the struggling energy provider. While this Bill will ease some of Eskom's problems - at least temporarily - Mboweni himself has admitted that it will place a significant financial burden on taxpayers, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
This strain is compounded by areas which chronically fail to pay their electricity bills. Soweto is the worst offender in this regard, but several regions are also notorious for illegal electricity connections and for simply not paying their bills.
For the most part, Eskom has continued to supply electricity to non-paying areas, leading some on social media to joke that the SOE is afraid of switching off Soweto's power.
Ramaphosa, however, acknowledged that this arrangement is unsustainable. He pointed out that Eskom used to be the cheapest electricity producer in the world, but that electricity costs have since increased by over 800%, according to Eyewitness News.
"We've lost that competitive advantage," the president said.
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