Following their recent meeting, the Eskom Political Task Team has urged consumers to pay for their outstanding municipal services bills in order to enable these municipalities to meet their debt obligations to Eskom. The task team, which is led by Deputy President David Mabuza received a progress report on the payment of municipal bills to Eskom and the debts organs of state owe to municipalities, they also considered proposals on resolving the current Eskom debt.
The task team is concerned with the high level of Eskom’s debt and says that this current debt is unsustainable and must be reduced. It also decided that the culture of non-payment of services should be discouraged and also be dealt with accordingly.
“It is for this reason that we are calling on all of us to join the campaign to encourage citizens to pay for the services they receive so that municipalities are able to collect revenue, meet their debt obligations to Eskom, and provide quality services to the communities,” said Deputy President Mabuza.
The task team also discussed ways in which the national and the provincial government can assist in ensuring that municipal services are paid for and that State organs lead by example and they do not default on payments.
A plan to meet the country’s electricity demand and to reduce load shedding was also discussed. According to the Deputy President’s office, the meeting was encouraged by the progress made at the Medupi Power Station which has achieved five months of improved performance, and the availability and reliability of the synchronised units at both Medupi and Kusile power stations. Both the power stations are steadily improving and are contributing to the grid.
The task team is satisfied that these measures have significantly contributed to the reduction of load shedding in the past few months, but it is still worried about plant breakdowns that might happen and cause load-shedding. It has also received an update on the progress of the procurement of additional energy and encouraged stakeholders to finish because secure energy supply will be needed in order to implement the economic recovery and reconstruction plan successfully.
Regarding the reduction of emissions by Eskom, the task team noted that the integrated emission reduction plan has been completed and approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries. It was also updated about the Just Energy Transition, a transition towards a low carbon, climate resilient economy and society in a manner that does not impede socio-economic development.
The task team also agreed that the Just Energy Transition should be implemented in a phased manner over a period time with the objective of transitioning Eskom to a net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. The Political Task Team directed that a concurrent plan within the District Development Model framework, must be considered during the implementation of the Just Energy Transition to ensure the sustainability of communities located near the power stations.