Cape Town – Several opposition parties and unions have taken to the court in a bid to declare power outages unconstitutional and seek load shedding exemption for vital sectors.
The parties want Eskom and the Department of Public Service and Administration to be held accountable for the ailing energy crisis.
The Pretoria High Court will hear a bid to declare load shedding unconstitutional on Monday, reported EWN.
The report said UDM, IFP and Bosa will join the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa and the Saftu in their litigation against Eskom and the Department of Public Service and Administration to end load shedding.
The court application also includes evidence from expert witnesses on how load shedding is resulting in deaths at public hospitals, the report said.
On Friday, ActionSA announced that it will be joining the groups to take to task the Department of Mineral and Energy Resources, the Department of Public Enterprises, and the Government of the Republic of South Africa, over Eskom’s failure to provide the country with a stable energy supply.
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“The court case by UDM, ActionSA and 17 others seeks to, inter alia, declare the ANC-led government’s response to loadshedding unconstitutional and in breach of numerous fundamental human rights, and further seeks that certain sectors, such as educational and healthcare facilities, be exempted from load-shedding.” said the party.
Earlier this year, these political parties, including community-based groups and individuals, approached the courts to seek an urgent hearing on relief measures amid continued load shedding, News24 reported.
The report said they wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa, ministers Pravin Gordhan and Gwede Mantashe, among the other respondents, to issue a plan detailing how they will ensure power supply is not terminated or reduced, steps to maintain Eskom’s infrastructure and address the impact of load shedding on public health, education and employment.
In an affidavit, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa stated that the government was given plenty of opportunities to address the energy crisis since 2007, the report said.
“Instead, we have heard repeated assurances, from commitments that load shedding is over, to promises that the matter is being attended to. However, evidently there is no end in sight, and the time has now come for judicial intervention, with little if any other alternative,” Holomisa was quoted as saying.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe