NATIONAL NEWS - The Eskom Political Task Team, led by Deputy President David Mabuza, has urged consumers to pay for municipal services to ensure municipalities meet their debt obligations to Eskom.
The task team met on Friday and received a progress report on the payment of municipal debts to Eskom, debts owed by organs of State to municipalities, and also considered proposals on resolving the current Eskom debt.
In this regard, the meeting noted with concern the high level of Eskom’s debt and restated its position that the current debt is unsustainable and must be reduced.
“The sustainability of Eskom is in the best interest of the country. If we do not make a change and ensure that services are paid for, we will not have a country left.
"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 the Deputy President.
The meeting took a decision that the culture of non-payment of services should be discouraged and be dealt with decisively.
The Political Task Team also deliberated on various ways in which national and provincial government would join the campaign to ensure that services to municipalities are paid for, with State organs taking the lead and not defaulting on payments.
The meeting discussed a plan to meet the country’s electricity demand and reduce load shedding. The meeting was encouraged by the progress made at Medupi, which has achieved five consecutive months of improved performance, as well as availability and reliability of the synchronised units at Medupi and Kusile, which are steadily improving and contributing to the grid.
“In this regard, the meeting was satisfied that these measures had contributed to significant reduction in load shedding in the past few months, but remained concerned that plant breakdowns may take place and cause load-shedding as they remain unpredictable,” said the Deputy President’s office.
On the procurement of additional energy, the meeting was apprised of progress and encouraged all stakeholders to reach finality as secure energy supply would be critical for the successful implementation of the economic recovery and reconstruction plan.
Regarding the reduction of emissions by Eskom, the meeting noted that the integrated emission reduction plan has been completed and approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries.
Furthermore, the meeting was updated on the Just Energy Transition, which refers to a transition towards a low carbon, climate resilient economy and society in a manner that does not impede socio-economic development.
The meeting 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.
Finay, 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 in order to ensure the sustainability of surrounding communities where power stations are located. – SAnews.gov.za