The City of Tshwane claims to have brought in Eskom to discuss financial issues and to settle the 1.6 billion rand it owes the embattled utility.

This comes after Eskom announced on Tuesday that it was considering shutting down the city of Tshwane to secure debt payments.

MMC for Finance Peter Sutton says the City of Tshwane has taken note of the semi-public utility’s notice to turn off the lights due to late payment of its bill.

READ ALSO: Eskom shuts off power in Tshwane city worth R1.6 billion

“We recognize that the current account is 1.6 billion rand and we intend to service that amount. Our finance team consistently engages Eskom in the payment plan. We understand our responsibility to maintain our account.”

However, Sutton noted what he called “several facts” about the unpaid amount.

“The arrears amount is only 4 days, relates only to July and all previous arrears have been paid. This is a current invoice only. Our entire value system does not align. Eskom’s payment date is 15 days later (16 August). Tshwane bills for July are due around August 21.”

“On average, residents pay the city in a 60-day cycle for services consumed, while Eskom expects to be paid after 15 days, and the city has zero cash reserves to bridge the gap by paying from our coffers, and thus , it leads to the current situation,” Sutton said.

Sutton says the City of Tshwane will be pushing Eskom for payment plans.

“We previously met with Eskom’s CEO and CFO and discussed the city’s financial issues, so we are disappointed to note this statement from Eskom. The City of Tshwane remains committed to paying our debt and ensuring we service our Eskom accounts.”

Sutton says the City of Tshwane has embarked on an aggressive revenue collection campaign to ensure it generates enough revenue to service creditors such as Eskom.

READ ALSO: National shutdown: Here’s what you need to know

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