The KwaZulu-Natal government is urgently trying to avert electricity interruptions in the Newcastle Local Municipality after it racked up electricity debt of more than R200m.
On Monday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka urged residents "to pay for municipal services, including electricity, as their failure to do so puts a huge strain on the dwindling finances of municipalities".
It is the failure by residents, including businesses, to keep up to date with their utility bills."
The municipality has overdue debt to power utility Eskom of about R200m.
Hlomuka said while the government was committed to working with municipalities to find a solution, residents should prioritise paying for municipal services.
Hlomuka has also urged municipalities to implement stringent measures to recover lost revenue, which includes fining or prosecuting those found to have illegal electricity connections.
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