Ramaphosa warns: The days of boycotting electricity payments are over

South Africans who want ti use electricity will have to pay for it.
South Africans who want ti use electricity will have to pay for it.
Image: Alon Skuy

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that government would clamp down on the culture of non-payment for electricity as part of plans to rescue the struggling power utility Eskom.

In his state of the nation address‚ Ramaphosa said the "days of boycotting electricity payment" were over.

Eskom‚ which is drowning in debt of nearly R500bn‚ is owed billions of rand by government departments and residents.

LISTEN | The June 2019 Sona in 5 minutes

Residents of Soweto alone owe the state-owned company more than R17bn.

Ramaphosa said the government was already working on a plan to recover the debt.

"As a country‚ we must assert the principle that those who use electricity must pay for it. Failure to pay endangers our entire electricity supply‚ our economy and our efforts to create jobs. The days of boycotting payment are over. This is now the time to build. It is the time for all of us to make our own contribution."

Ramaphosa also announced that Eskom would receive another "urgent" financial boost  from government to help it meet its financial obligations which could run to R230bn over the next 10 years.

Government will soon table a special appropriation bill to urgently allocate more money to the cash-strapped Eskom.

This is on top of the R69bn that finance minister Tito Mboweni allocated to Eskom in his budget speech in February to help it pay its debts amounting to nearly R500bn.

"This we must do because Eskom is too vital to our economy to be allowed to fail."

Ramaphosa said Mboweni would soon provide more details of the latest Eskom rescue package.

- TMG Digital

SONA took place in Cape Town on June 20 2019 and in the Presidents speech, he had many plans for South Africa. What stood out for many South Africans was his seven key priorities.

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