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Mooi-Mpofana municipality in KZN faces power cuts due to unpaid Eskom account

Mooi-Mpofana municipality in the KwaZulu-Midlands which covers areas such as Mooi River, Bruntville and Nottingham Road currently owe Eskom R123-million and could be facing rolling power cuts.

The KZN cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka is expected to meet with Eskom on Thursday in the hopes of preventing the power cuts to the municipality.

Residents of Bruntville said on Tuesday that if their power is cut they will block the busy N3 highway and bring the town of Mooi River to a standstill.

Mooi River has recently become well know for the number of trucks which have been set alight on the N3 in that vicinity.

Eskom issued a notice to the municipality on Monday informing them of their intentions to interrupt electricity supply from July 8.

As Cogta oversee the municipalities in the area they have decided to intervene and hold a meeting with Eskom.

TimesLIVE reported that part of the outstanding debt has been escalating since July 2015 and according to Eskom they are in breach of their payment obligations which is placing more strain on the financially constrained power supplier.

Residents were notified by Eskom that they should expect their power to be cut off from July 8 until July 14 from 6am to 9am and 5pm to 8:30pm from Monday to Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am until noon and 3pm to 7pm.

From July 15 Eskom plans to escalate the blackouts to between 6am and 8pm every day of the week until the account matter has been resolved as the problem has been ongoing.  There are also high levels of tampering with electricity meters in the area.

DA councillor Nhlalayenza Ndlovu said the when they realised residents were struggling to pay for electricity due to lack of employment or low income, they called for an audit of electricity meters, but this has not been done.

Mpofana business Forum secretary Lwandle Madlala said that there are those who are paying for their electricity and it is the municipalities responsibility to ensure that those who do not pay are dealt with.