Cabinet welcomes decision to appeal load shedding exemption ruling

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Cabinet says it welcomes the decision to appeal the recent North Gauteng High Court ruling that instructed Eskom to exempt public institutions from load shedding based on the implications of this judgement. 

This comes after the high court found that load shedding constituted an infringement of constitutional rights and gave the Minister of Public Enterprises 60 days to ensure that public health facilities, schools and police stations are exempted from power outages or provide generators.

The Department of Public Enterprises on Monday said it was lodging an urgent appeal to set aside last Friday‘s judgment on load shedding.

Meanwhile, in a Cabinet statement released on Thursday, Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said government is working closely with Eskom to fast track the repair of units that have resulted in Stage 6 load shedding in recent days and frustrated progress in the programme to improve energy security in the country.

The Minister said intense work is underway at Eskom to increase the utility’s Energy Availability Factor through substantial maintenance.

In addition, Ntshavheni said Eskom is currently maximising the use of open cycle gas turbines, securing additional generation capacity from private investment in renewables and scaling up awareness to improve demand-side management from large electricity users and households.

“Acts of sabotage continue to plague Eskom’s infrastructure and, therefore, the continued deployment of 880 SANDF [South African National Defence Force] members to safeguard a number of Eskom power stations is part of measures to prevent attempts to collapse the national grid,” the Minister said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the deployment of the SANDF members to safeguard a number of Eskom power stations around the country to the tune of R146 million.

The soldiers will work with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to prevent and combat crime and maintain and preserve law and order under Operation Prosper.

Meanwhile, Cabinet is reminding South Africans to continue to save electricity towards the national target to save 1 000MW. –