Civil rights organisation AfriForum on Friday said it would call on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to withdraw the licences of municipalities that have defaulted on their payments to power provider Eskom. “[We will be approaching] the courts in terms of the protection of the public’s constitutional rights,” it said in a statement, adding that it intended to also mobilise communities to protest and direct petitions to each municipal council’s Speaker.
Eskom has welcomed Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s decision to grant municipalities until the end of January to settle their arrear debt with the power utility. Brown on Thursday instructed the parastatal to allow municipalities until January 31 to settle arrears before switching off the lights, as it would hurt businesses and jobs.
The European Union (EU) has given Zambia about $69-million to expand electricity supply in the continent's second biggest copper producer, which faces a power deficit that has hit mining and agriculture. In a statement, the EU said the grant would fund projects to provide access to reliable and affordable electricity to at least 63 000 households and small businesses.