The South Gauteng High Court has affirmed Eskom’s right to interrupt, or terminate, electricity supply to nonpaying customers.
The case was brought against Eskom by Pioneer Foods, in which the packaged goods company sought to review and set aside Eskom’s decision in 2018 to interrupt electricity supply to the Walter Sisulu municipality, in the Eastern Cape, owing to its failure to pay its electricity bill.
In a judgment delivered by the court on October 14, it ruled that Pioneer had no standing in the electricity supply agreement between Eskom and the municipality and dismissed the application with costs.
Pioneer is a customer of the municipality and, as such, had no legal right to bring the case against Eskom to court.
A statement by Eskom reads that this was a landmark judgment that affirmed the validity and lawfulness of Eskom’s right to interrupt the supply of electricity to a delinquent customer.
The ruling allows Eskom to enhance its collection efforts from defaulting municipalities, who collectively owe Eskom in excess of R31-billion in overdue debt.
The court also said that before an aggrieved party approached the court for relief against Eskom, it should first exhaust the internal remedies contemplated in the Electricity Regulation Act by approaching the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.