Cyril Ramaphosa calls for non-paying residents to cough up for electricity

Cyril Ramaphosa.
Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on residents in non-paying areas to join the rest of the country to help make Eskom the world's "lowest unit cost" producer once again by paying for electricity.

SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE reported that residents of Soweto alone owe the state-owned company more than R18bn.

Ramaphosa, who was addressing dignitaries at the 25 Years of Democracy Conference that was held at the University of Johannesburg, said  government was providing electricity to non-paying areas, including Soweto, and that needed to change.

He said Eskom used to be "the lowest unit cost electricity producer in the whole world", adding that the power utility had a competitive advantage of selling electricity at the cheapest price globally.

"Our electricity has gone up by 800%. It has become one of the most expensive electricity by unit cost in the world, and therefore, we’ve lost that competitive advantage," said Ramaphosa.

He added that residents must pay up and bring Eskom back into good financial stead. Watch full speech here.

Special Appropriation Bill for Eskom

Finance minister Tito Mboweni on Tuesday introduced a Special Appropriation Bill for Eskom for the next two years.

The special bill will provide funding from the National Revenue Fund to allocate an extra R26bn to Eskom in 2019/20 and R33bn for 2020/2021.

This is on top of the R69bn that the energy company was allocated in the national budget in February.

Mboweni said the serious financial and operational challenges faced by Eskom were, to a large extent, caused by governance challenges that were playing themselves out at the Zondo commission.

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