Port Elizabeth – Electricity supply to the Eastern Cape education department in Port Elizabeth has been cut because of outstanding bills, a municipal spokesperson said on Friday.
Supply to the department’s district offices in Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth was cut on November 28, Nelson Mandela bay municipality spokesperson Kupido Baron said.
The municipality is trying to collect outstanding electricity bills to the value of R2bn.
The department was notified on November 11 of the impending cut. By Thursday afternoon the municipality had received no notification that the department had paid its bills.
The Herald reported that staff had been forced to leave at 12:00 the past two weeks because they were unable to work without electricity.
The provincial education department failed to respond to requests for comment.
Rhodes University without electricity
Meanwhile, Rhodes University may start 2017 academic year without electricity.
In a statement, Eskom said it planned to cut electricity supply to the Makana local municipality, into which Rhodes University falls.
The power cut will happen on February 3 and continue indefinitely, Eskom said.
The Makana local municipality said it could not pay the R58.9m it owed Eskom.
“Due to the unstable revenue collection, Makana municipality was unable to honour its initial payment plan by 5 November 2016,” municipal spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo said.
The municipality had proposed a new payment plan with Eskom that would see it pay off its debt by December 2020.
The municipality, Eskom and the South African Local Government Association were expected to hold a meeting soon.