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Newcastle Municipality made national headlines in 2019 after Eskom threatened to plunge the KwaZulu-Natal town into darkness. At the time, the threats stemmed from the government entity owing the power utility well over R200 million.
Following a legal battle, it was established that the financially strapped municipality would make monthly payments of R30 million to the state-owned power utility. Now, nearly three years later, where is the Newcastle Municipality with its commitments?
According to Newcastle Mayor, Cllr Xolani Dube, the Municipality still owes approximately R120 million, with the entity still honouring its monthly payments to Eskom.
Furthermore, with the Newcastle Municipality still owing a large sum of money to the state-owned electricity provide, and alongside the national power grid already under strain, why are Newcastle streetlights allowed to run during the day? And what is the Newcastle Municipality doing about it?
While Cllr Dube could not provide a reason why certain streetlights were left on during the day, he assured us that the Newcastle Municipality was aware of the issue and is working on the problem.
“The Newcastle Municipality wants to move the running of the streetlights to satellite. This means the Municipality will switch to automated timing,” he explained.
Additionally, Cllr Dube pointed out that the Newcastle Municipality was still in the supply chain process of acquiring the necessary service providers for the upgrade. However, he noted, “We have budgeted R4 million for the project.”
Not only will this ensure that the streetlights don’t burn all day, but will see the financially embattled Municipality not having to fork out extra monies for electricity.
With various commitments from the Newcastle Municipality, as always, you can be assured that we will follow up on their progress.
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