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Setting the record straight regarding Rapport and Fin24 articles
Monday, 28 October 2019: Eskom would like to correct the Rapport newspaper and Fin24 articles titled: “Nuwe hoop op die platteland” and “Eskom and a group of businesses strike a landmark deal, side-lining the local municipality” respectively. 
The facts are as follows:
On 22 October 2018, the Bloemfontein High Court ordered a Consultative Committee to be established to look at initiatives of among others assisting Maluti with the repayment of the Eskom debt. The members of the committee included the Harrismith Business Chamber, Eskom and the Maluti a Phofung Municipality.  The Committee is chaired by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and the Department of Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 
One of the initiatives that the Committee agreed to assisting the Municipality with was to technically normalise the top 100 Large Power Users (LPU) accounts and also for Eskom to collect electricity revenue directly from these LPU customers as payment towards the Municipality’s overdue debt. No agreement was concluded with the Harrismith Business Chamber in isolation and Eskom did not side-line or bypass the Municipality in this process. In fact, the 100 customers will still be supplied by the Municipality.
The Municipality has paid R2.9-million towards this normalisation (full costs of meters installed). The cost of this project is not split between the Municipality and the Business Chamber as cited by Mr Ben Deysel in the Fin24 and Rapport articles. 
It is therefore factually incorrect to say that Eskom will deliver power directly to the 100 biggest power users bypassing the Municipality completely. Only the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and the Courts can make such a decision.
Eskom has never cut off electricity to Harrismith for non-payment because we were interdicted by the courts to do so as a result of the legal action taken by the Business Chamber. The statement in the Fin24 and Rapport articles saying that a sewerage plant was damaged as a result of Eskom cutting off electricity in Harrismith is untrue.