Eskom Agrees to Release Funds to Free State Defaulter

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. agreed to release some funds to a municipality in South Africa’s Free State province to help it cover running costs, after seizing its bank accounts earlier this week.

The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality owes 5.3 billion rand ($318 million) in unpaid electricity bills and must reach an agreement to service the debt and its current account by Aug. 7, Eskom said in a statement Saturday. The state-owned power utility will release 90 million rand from the municipality’s bank account to allow it to pay workers’ salaries and cover other costs, it said.

Eskom said its sustainability is threatened by a total outstanding municipal debt of 30.9 billion rand as of end-June.

“Eskom will continue to explore all available legal avenues to ensure that outstanding municipal debt is recovered,” the company said in the statement.

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