Newcastle Municipality’s Eskom debt declining and streetlights to go satellite

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

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. 

What are your thoughts on the matter? Share your views in the comment section below. 

5 thoughts on “Newcastle Municipality’s Eskom debt declining and streetlights to go satellite

  1. These numbers do not make sense, R30 000 000 repayment for 36 months makes it R1080 000 000, but the artical says approx R120 000 000 left to pay.
    What are the right numbers here.

  2. Lights via satellite?
    Or could it be solar?
    This is what most Metro municipalities are doing.

  3. ANC @ the core of the rot in any dysfunctional Municipality you can come across.

    I just hope ANC sheep continue to vote in their numbers in 2024 for their ANC so as to finish the little bit that’s left.


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