Eskom’s plans to interrupt the bulk electricity supply to the beleaguered Makana Municipality will cripple the local economy and have a devastating impact on its already troubled water supply.
Makana Municipality is one of the top 20 defaulting municipalities across the country that Eskom intends cutting off starting in June this year.
As of January this year Makana Municipality owed Eskom almost R60 million with as much as R53 million overdue.
Eskom’s plans include power cuts on weekdays from 6 – 10am, and 5 – 9pm in the evening from June.
This will have a negative impact on Grahamstown’s biggest economic event of the year, the National Arts Festival.
Studies conducted in the past indicate that the festival generates as much as R90 million for the Grahamstown economy and as much as R300 million to the Eastern Cape providing a major boost to jobs and economic growth.
Furthermore, water supply in Grahamstown relies on a reliable electricity supply to drive pumps that provide water to the town.
The ongoing water crisis and the improvements that are being made will be dealt a devastating blow if Eskom’s plans go ahead.
My colleague Natasha Mazzone (MP) has written to Minister Brown asking her to immediately instruct Eskom to halt this plan until she has fully engaged all the various stakeholders as to the best way forward to recoup this money owed to Eskom and insist that:
All revenue raised by municipalities through the resale of electricity should be ring-fenced for the payment of