President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the government would launch a massive campaign to try and persuade people to pay their bills for services, especially electricity.
The president told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that while rent and other boycotts helped bring down apartheid, that time was over.
Eskom was owed around R20 million by municipalities, while Soweto’s debt was more than R18 million.
“We are going to be launching a massive campaign to encourage our people to pay. And we are going to spread it throughout the length and the breadth of the country and call on all South Africans to pay their charges,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said poor households would get a number of free kilowatts.
“The boycott culture is over; we are no longer in the boycott period. Boycotts were used as an effective weapon during the days of the struggle and it paid dividends. Now we must use paying to take our country forward,” he said.