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Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeWorldJohannesburg municipality cuts power to Nigerian consulate over unpaid bills

Johannesburg municipality cuts power to Nigerian consulate over unpaid bills

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“The issue is being considered through the diplomatic channel. We call on all parties involved to find an amicable solution,” he added.

The Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg has formally complained to the South African government after the city’s municipality cut off electricity to its building over unpaid bills.

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Municipal officials today went to the consulate, in the suburb of Ilovo, to cut off the electricity after the debts had reached 400,000 rand (23,300 euros).

The consulate refused to allow entry to the “invasion team” – as it described it – and so the supply from another point was cut off.

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South African foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela confirmed the consulate had sent a “diplomatic note” to the government.

“The issue is being considered through the diplomatic channel. We call on all parties involved to find an amicable solution,” he added.

For the Nigerian consulate, however, the municipality’s action constitutes “a complete violation of agreements and international conventions, especially the Vienna Convention which guarantees the inviolability of consular offices.”

However, the Nigerian consul general then went to the municipality to “recognize the debt” and negotiate its payment by the end of the month, as the representative of the electricity supply company Isaac Mangena told AFP.

South Africa experiences frequent power outages, and problems facing state-owned utility Eskom, which generates 90 percent of the country’s electricity, worsened last year. For years, planned blackouts have been multiplying and Eskom has been unable to keep up with rising demand and maintain its aging infrastructure, mainly coal-fired generation plants.

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