Cape Town – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says his department will lodge an urgent appeal against a ruling exempting certain public facilities from load shedding.
Last week the High Court ordered the government to exempt hospitals, schools and police stations from rolling blackouts.
The judgment was handed down after 19 organisations and political parties, including the IFP, ActionSA, UDM, Bosa, National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa and Saftu took Eskom to court, arguing that load shedding should be declared unconstitutional.
The court found that the state breached its constitutional and statutory duties and that these breaches were infringing on citizen’s rights to healthcare, education and security.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was given 60 days to implement the interim order
But in a statement on Monday, Gordhan said his department had serious concerns about the implications of the court ruling as it directly affected the stability of the national grid.
“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 efforts to end load-shedding to proceed without putting undue risk on the country’s grid infrastructure.
“While the department respects the independence of the courts, in this case the department believes the judgment would have unintended consequences and will undermine the efforts to balance the protection of the rights ventilated in this case with the need to stabilise and protect our grid infrastructure,” said Gordhan.
[NEWS JUST IN] Pravin Gordhan is appealing the North Gauteng High Court judgement on loadshedding🤔 pic.twitter.com/p4c50s030K
— The Special one🇿🇦 (@Nhleiks5) May 8, 2023
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi expressed disappointment at Gordhan’s decision to appeal.
“We are disgusted, angry and disappointed but we are not surprised. This government has allowed a situation where the future of our children is jeopardised by load shedding, has allowed patients to die in hospital and has allowed criminals to raid our homes in darkness
“… And when we together with other organisations approach the court to get justice, government then shows us the middle finger by appealing a decision that they should be celebrating,” said Vavi.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan will urgently appeal a ruling exempting certain public facilities from load shedding. Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says they are disgusted and angry and disappointed at Gordhan’s decision to appeal.https://t.co/hHXJTzGxTv pic.twitter.com/p5CfsJSDwv
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) May 8, 2023
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu