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Newcastle Municipality Hopes To Avoid Courts Over R200 Million Eskom Bill

The Newcastle municipality says it wants to organise a payment plan with Eskom instead of battling it out in court.

The municipality owes Eskom over R200 million in debt accumulated over the past two years.

The power utility wants the court to allow it to cut power supply to the municipality if it misses payment on its debt.

Newcastle mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba says the court battle between Eskom and the municipality is unnecessary.

He says they want to go into negotiations with Eskom and agree on a payment plan.

“We are not fighting. We are hoping that even today Eskom will just say, ‘Let us sign an agreement’, because since we came here and there was a court order we have managed to pay what was owed.”

Meanwhile, Eskom insists that there have been previous payment plans which the municipality has failed to honour.

Friday, the power utility reiterated its call to the court to get permission to switch off the lights if the municipality does not pay.

The matter has been adjourned to next week.