DA turns to courts for declaration that the ANC created energy crisis is a violation the Constitution’s Bill of Rights

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  • One of the most pressing issues affecting every South African today is the ongoing crisis of load-shedding and an electricity tariff increase that is six times higher than the rate of inflation.
  •  The National Electricity Regulator of SA has granted Eskom an astonishing 31.4% electricity tariff hike over the next two years and South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), refuses to accept this situation.

They have turned to the courts and argue that the ANC government caused this problem by its failure to take expert advice, plan, or take action to meet the country’s electricity needs, compounded by extreme corruption and administrative failure. “This has violated most of the provisions in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights,” said the DA in a statement.

They seek a declaration from the court confirming that this failure is due to government and state failure, which failed to take responsibility for defending constitutional rights. They argue that the failure is inconsistent with the Constitution.

Once such a court declaration has been made,  they seek the appointment of a Special Master to oversee, regulate, monitor, and report to the Court on the government’s progress in implementing the Energy Action Plan that is supposed to deal with the crisis and related issues. This independent Special Master must have the necessary expertise to evaluate the situation, monitor and report accurately, enabling South Africans to know what is going on, and what they can expect, and plan accordingly.

The DA’s second part of our application, is to require NERSA to re-evaluate the tariff increase, and ensure that public participation is undertaken to provide crucial data on the impact of the proposed tariff increase. The DA’s court papers argue that NERSA misinterpreted Section 15 (1) (e) of the Electricity Regulation Act, and did not take public participation into account at when the Multi-Year Price Determination was undertaken.

The DA seeks to have the MYPD decision declared invalid, and suspended, giving NERSA six months to remedy the situation.

The ongoing electricity crisis is wreaking havoc to the South African economy with stage 6 load-shedding alone costing our nation a staggering R900 million daily. South Africans face up to 10 hours of blackouts daily.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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