Public works addresses Johannesburg High Court generator matter

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has affirmed that the generators that have been provided to the Johannesburg High Court by the department are reliable and work accordingly. 

This confirmation follows last week’s announcement by Gauteng Deputy Judge President Roland Sutherland that court hearings would be moved online due to the ongoing load shedding.

Sutherland reportedly said the continued load shedding affected proceedings as the High Court building did not have a reliable generator which could cover the periods of outages.

However, the department said the generators at the Johannesburg High Court were adequate and the only problem that arises was the issue of fuel.

“Regarding the issue of the Johannesburg High Court, DPWI was only informed of the problem on Friday, 13 January 2023, that the fuel was low. There was nothing that the department could do about that as client departments are responsible for buying consumables and ensuring that generators do not run out of fuel.

“We, as the department, are responsible for the installation, maintenance and fixing of generators,” the department said on Tuesday.

The department said generators might heat up and become inadequate due to the long periods that they are expected to run during different stages of loadshedding.

“The DPWI is now advising clients to consider other sources of energy such as solar power as a back up to generators. These interventions would lessen the risk of overheating of generators and excessive fuel costs.

“In this case of the Johannesburg High Court, the client failed to procure diesel timeously. In the meantime, the DPWI has placed a technician on site so they may deal with any issues that may arise with the generators as quickly as possible.

“We also suggest that our client has a dedicated team to keep a close eye on the availability and procurement of fuel stock. All other requests for generators in courts are always implemented and we are not aware of any generator problems elsewhere,” the department said. –