Eskom and City Power’s nasty fight for billions just getting started

Johannesburg metro’s power entity, City Power, is squaring off for another legal battle worth billions of rands owed to Eskom.

This comes after City Power announced on Friday that it intends to appeal a high court judgment to pay Eskom more than R1-billion in default electricity payments.

Isaac Mangena, the spokesperson for City Power, said the power entity has already alerted its attorneys to look into the matter.


Eskom approached the high court to demand payment of R1 073 593 894, accusing the City of Johannesburg, Africa’s richest city, of falling behind on its payments for the bulk electricity supplied to the city.

Debt has accumulated

Eskom stated that the initial debt has accumulated interest, and a total of R3.4-billion is due and payable by the City of Johannesburg, or City Power.

The city and its power entity had presented a counter-application where they stated that Eskom overbilled.

As such, they vouched to hold back on paying Eskom until an agreement was reached on the amount due to them.

“Eskom alleges that the COJ [City of Johannesburg] is in breach of the electricity supply agreements by withholding payments due in April 2024,” reads the judgment passed by Ngwako Maenetje, the acting judge of the high court.

“On the other hand, the COJ and City Power contend that set-off operates to the extent of the alleged overbilling in the amount of over R3.4-billion.


“Other than for the contention regarding set-off, the COJ and City Power do not dispute the account and that it would otherwise have been due and payable in the absence of a claim for set-off.

“In other words, no genuine dispute of fact arises in the absence of the alleged set-off.”

COJ and City Power ordered to pay

Maenetje, therefore, ordered that the first and second respondents, COJ and City Power, respectively, should pay off the amount due to Eskom.”

COJ and City Power are also ordered to pay the full amount plus interest calculated from the date of application.

“The first respondent, alternatively the second respondent, and further alternatively the first and second respondents jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved, are ordered to pay the applicant the sum of R1 073 593 894.83.

“The first respondent, alternatively the second respondent, and further alternatively the first and second respondents jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved, are ordered to pay the applicant’s costs of the application,” reads the judgment.

In a statement, Eskom demanded that they receive the amount due to the entity on Friday.

Said Eskom: “The city, in response to Eskom’s application, brought a counterclaim against Eskom for R3.4-billion, alleging potential over-billing and as a result, it has applied an automatic set-off against Eskom’s electricity account.”

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