Cape Town – The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has reportedly welcomed the Pretoria High Court’s judgment ordering the government to exempt some facilities offering essential services from power cuts.
Opposition parties won their battle to have Eskom exempt public hospitals, clinics, schools and police stations from load shedding.
Reports said the Pretoria High Court issued an order effectively exempting the mentioned facilities from load shedding.
This came after various opposition political parties took to the court a bid to declare power outages unconstitutional and sought load shedding exemption for vital sectors.
ActionSA, UDM, IFP, Bosa, National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa and the Saftu wanted Eskom and the Department of Public Service and Administration to be held accountable for the ailing energy crisis and essential services to be protected from power cuts.
On Friday the Pretoria High Court granted the order effectively exempting essential services from load shedding, reported EWN.
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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, the report said.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has 60 days to implement the interim order, reported TimeLIVE.
The report said the order stated that Gordhan “shall take all reasonable steps … to ensure that there shall be sufficient supply or generation of electricity to prevent any interruption of supply as a result of load-shedding”.
The court would couch its order “wide enough” in a way that empowered the minister on how to resolve the situation and allow him to work with whatever other government departments were necessary, the report said.
“We find the granting of emergency relief is disconnected from policy-making or executive governmental decisions and is justifiable,” the report quoted Judge Norman Davis as saying.
According to EWN, the IFP said this judgment was important as load shedding exacerbated crime in the country and had a negative impact on health facilities.
“The IFP welcomes the judgment that compels Eskom to provide electricity to all areas that are important to our people so we can provide services without disruptions,” the report quoted IFP’s Velenkosini Hlabisa as saying.
The party added that it would be closely monitoring the actions taken by the Minister of Public Enterprises to ensure the court order was obeyed.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe