EFF condemns govt's loadshedding exemption appeal

Fighters say this is a blatant disregard for well-being of South Africans

EFF condemns government’s court appeal of the order to exempt hospitals, schools and police stations from loadshedding

28 March 2024

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the decision by the government and Eskom to continue their appeal against the Gauteng High Court's landmark ruling that sought to shield essential services from the crippling effects of load shedding.

This appeal is a blatant disregard for the well-being of South Africans after Judge Norman Davis, in December 2023, ordered the exemption of public health institutions, schools, and police stations from load shedding from January 2024 onwards. The court's decision recognised load shedding as the human rights violation it truly is — disrupting healthcare, education, and security, and a direct consequence of the ANC's years of mismanagement and neglect of Eskom.

The EFF is particularly outraged by the government's argument against prioritising the very institutions meant to protect and educate our people. In their appeal, the government has brazenly asserted that it is beyond the court's jurisdiction to dictate how the government should prioritise the socio-economic needs of South Africans and state that they see no reason why these essential services should be prioritised.

This is despite undeniable evidence that load shedding has led to hundreds of fatalities in hospitals across the country, and has compromised the safety of the entire nation, with even police stations forced to close during load shedding due to heightened fears of crime.

Additionally, their solution of changing school schedules around outages is a slap in the face to every student whose education is already suffering. Confirming once again that the ANC does not value the dignity and future of the African child.

Eskom further contended that providing alternative sources of supply to the listed entities by the specified deadline was practically impossible due to the complexity, immense cost, and lengthy timelines involved in procuring alternative energy sources.

Eskom's claims of logistical and financial hurdles are a mere smokescreen and the judgement exposed their lack of political will and urgency in addressing the electricity crisis. Altemative solutions exist, but prioritising corruption over people is the ANC's true agenda, highlighted by their persistent refusal to disclose their contracts with suppliers.

Furthermore, there is a looming 12.74% hike in electricity rates set for the 1st of April, following an 18.65% increase last year. This places a significant burden on the already vulnerable members of our society, and exacerbates the strain on an economy that is stagnant due to interruptions in productivity caused by load shedding.

The EFF reiterates that load shedding is a deliberate consequence of ANC mismanagement, not an inevitable fact. The govemment has a legal and moral obligation to alleviate the suffering of its citizens and protecting essential services like hospitals, schools, and police stations is the first step.

As we head to the voting stations on the 29th of May, the EFF remains committed to fighting for a South Africa free from the shackles of loadshedding and the ANC's incompetence and disregard.

Issued by Sinawo Thambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 28 March 2024