Eskom has conceded 100% liability in the Free State High Court for the damages suffered by a farmer in a veld fire. A Volksblad report notes that the settlement is the first of at least 17 claims against Eskom, amounting to many millions of rands. In this case, some 5 000 ha of land was destroyed near Paul Roux in August 2014.

Eskom has now conceded that it was warned a month before the fires that an overhead power line was damaged near Paul Roux, but failed to correct it. Sparks from the power cable caused the fire, Eskom conceded.

Judge Abe Mathebula ordered Eskom to pay the costs of the owners of the farm Bo-Berg as well as the fees incurred for experts. The quantum of damages awarded in the Bo-Berg R4.2m claim will be decided later, after which the other claims will be finalised.

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