Gordhan appeals court ruling excempting public shools, hospitals, clinics and police stations from loadshedding

  • South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan, has announced that the department will be lodging an urgent appeal to set aside the judgment that was handed down by the North Gauteng High Court last Friday on load shedding.
  • The Minister of Public Enterprises has direct oversight over Eskom, the country’s state owned and state run energy utility. 
  • The country faces up to 10 hours of blackouts (loadshedding) daily with the grid system facing a serious threat of total collapse as demand for energy increases leading into the winter months. Read more 
  • A high court ruling delivered last Friday enforces surety of “sufficient supply or generation of electricity to prevent any interruption of supply as a result of load shedding” to hospitals and clinics, 23000 public schools, and police stations. 

Judge Norman Davis reasoned “Often, due to no alternate sources of electricity being available, generally in contrast to private schools, these schools close down for a particular day, thereby not only depriving learners of education, but often also of their only guaranteed meal of the day. Iniquities created by our country’s past injustices are, by the simple act of load-shedding, being perpetuated against a vulnerable segment of society,”

Link to the full judgement HERE

Minister Gordhan said that the DPE has serious concerns about the implications of the court ruling on the current efforts to stabilise the national grid and get the country out of load shedding.

Related news: South African government excempts East London from loadshedding for a full week for BRICS summit

“The department has studied the ruling and has determined through legal advice that the prudent step to take is to lodge an appeal to set aside the ruling and allow for the ongoing efforts to end load shedding to proceed without putting undue risk on the country’s grid infrastructure,” Minister Gordhan said.

“While the department respects the independence of the courts, in this case the department believes that the judgment would have unintended consequences and undermine the very efforts to balance the protection of the rights that were ventilated in this case, with the need to stabilise and protect our grid infrastructure,” Minister Gordhan said.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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