Update on Eskom eMalahleni dispute

Update on Eskom eMalahleni dispute

23 February 2017

“The dispute between Eskom and the eMalahleni local authorities over an unpaid electricity bill that has already seen hospitals fire up their generator back-up power has taken an ominous new turn with Witbank News reporting that Eskom has warned that the town will now only receive three hours of electricity a day over the weekend.

To compound matters, last night water supplies to the town were disrupted, partly because the constant power surges when electricity is turned on and off have damaged the municipality’s pump system, and partly because of a rupture of the pipe between the Witbank Dam and the purification system.

Hospitals are increasingly being caught up in the dispute though. So far, private hospitals have been able to maintain services but the dispute, the water crisis, and the new stringent Eskom steps are making it more difficult for them to maintain operations.

The situation is clearly untenable and urgent actions are needed by the disputing parties and other relevant authorities if healthcare is to be maintained in eMalahleni.


Hospitals that serve the sick with some dignity should not be held captive to a financial dispute between public institutions. The Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) calls for responsible action by Eskom and the eMalahleni authorities before their dispute escalates further into an even more serious situation and threatens lives.”


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