- Eskom has made a point of clamping down on defaulting clients as the power utility seeks to regain its balance
- With a staggering R43 billion owed by municipalities around the nation, it isn't hard to imagine why
- Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter is adamant that consumers must pay for what they use
South African municipalities owe cash-strapped Eskom a staggering R43 billion in outstanding debts.
In light of this, it isn't surprising that Eskom's newly-appointed CEO Andre de Ruyter is concerned.
Briefly.co.za reported that De Ruyer had given the nation an update on the challenges facing the utility, admitting that load-shedding will be a way of life for the interim.
However, when the lights are on, citizens should take responsibility for the electricity they do indeed use:
“It is important as a country that we assert the principle that those who use electricity have to pay for it. We are, of course, stepping up our collective efforts. We do try to ensure that low payment rate areas are individually selected in order to step up payment rates."
The CEO was encouraged that Eskom is taking steps to improve debt collection but noted that its income statement remains pressurized:
“I am encouraged by the strategy that our distribution division has implemented since May of last year to enhance revenue collection. Since the implementation of this strategy, the payment rate in Soweto, for example, has improved from 12% to 23.9%.”
De Ruyter chalked the improvement, in part to political leaders who publicly called for the culture of non-payment to end:
“We will continue discussions with the government through various formal structures to address the issue of municipal debt, and we will endeavour to find a lasting solution to the problem."
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