Newcastle Mayor Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba has confirmed that the Department of Co-operative Governanace and Traditional Affairs (cogta) is seeking an urgent interdict today (Friday, 27 September) in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to prevent Eskom from rolling out power cuts in the area. eskom announced yesterday that it will continue with power cuts in Newcastle effectively starting on Monday.

Speaking to the Newcastle Express earlier today, Mahlaba said the municipality was unaware of the intended power cuts as Eskom did not relay this information to them. “I don’t understand why Eskom has chosen to do this because we had a meeting scheduled for Monday in any case.”

Mahlaba said upon hearing of Eskom’s intention to enforce the power cuts, which were made public through a notice, he contacted Cogta to assist.

The Acting Municipal Manager Musi Mayisela is also in Pietermaritzburg representing the Newcastle Municipality.

Meanwhile, the Newcastle Residents Forum hosted a peaceful march to the municipal offices earlier today. NRF chairperson Mdu Mnisi said that when they got to the offices there was a “group of people who were deployed to cause commotion with us in order not to fulfil our purpose”.

Mnisi said that they requested the intervention of the police. “When the deputy mayor came to address us he wanted to together with the group that was deployed by them. We then decided to talk to him, whereby we agreed to come and meet with the relevant municipal officials next week. We can only hope that the talks next week will be profitable to all parties involved,” said Mnisi.