Concourt an option after Gordhan appeals Eskom exemption judgment

File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published May 10, 2023


Durban - Parties that obtained an order granted on Friday about certain sectors being exempted from ongoing load shedding to ensure the continued functionality of basic services, say they will consider approaching the Constitutional Court when Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, files his appeal.

The case brought by nineteen parties, led by the UDM and argued by Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, against the Department of Public Enterprises, resulted in an order being granted on Friday in the form of certain sectors being exempted from ongoing load-shedding to ensure the continued functionality of basic services.

These services include public health facilities, schools and police stations.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said they are waiting for appeal papers to be served and will then consider the best legal route.

“The matter is related to serious Constitution related issues, and we may have to go to the Concourt for urgent relief as an appeal means that the order is put on hold.

“By appealing, the government is disregarding Constitutional impediments that guarantee the rights of the population of the country to have access to electricity.”

Gordhan said his department has serious concerns about the implications of the court ruling on the current efforts to stabilise the national grid and get the country out of load shedding.

‘’The department has studied the ruling and has determined through legal advice that the prudent step to take is to lodge an appeal to set aside the ruling and allow for the ongoing efforts to end load shedding to proceed without putting undue risk on the country’s grid infrastructure,’’ Gordhan said.

“While the department respects the independence of the courts, in this case, the department believes that the judgment would have unintended consequences and undermine the very efforts to balance the protection of the rights that were ventilated in this case, with the need to stabilise and protect our grid infrastructure.’’

The court drew up its order broadly and left it in the hands of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to decide how he is going to remedy the situation and to allow him to gather together other organs of state to do so.