Cape Town - Cosatu says the load shedding schedule in Cape Town is racist and unfair.
The trade union has accused the City of Cape Town of forsaking poor people in their darkest hour.
Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu’s leader in the Western Cape, said that while power is switched off in poor areas like Mitchells Plain during peak hours, the same cannot be said for affluent areas like Constantia.
The union plans to lay a complaint with the Human Rights Commission about the “unfair” blackout schedules.
“The load shedding for the rich areas like Constantia happens during the least electricity reliant times, whereas the load shedding for the poorer areas, who do not have other options in respect of meals etc, happens at the most inconvenient times, when people most need the electricity.”
According to the city’s Stage 2 schedule, during the peak time (6pm to 8.30pm), Mitchells Plain and Langa experience blackouts twice a week, while Constantia, Bergvliet and Plumstead experience none.
And the only time these three areas suffer power cuts during morning peak (6am-8.30am) is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Ehrenreich accused the city of pandering to the rich.
“This load shedding pattern really just continues the City of Cape Town’s practice of maintaining the advantages for the wealthier, mainly white communities in Cape Town.
“The city leaders have little regard for the needs of the communities on the Cape Flats, in the way in which this City is run.”
City of Cape Town spokesperson Priya Reddy replied: “The city rejects any notion that load shedding is determined according to the racial make-up of an area. The schedule is co-ordinated with Eskom and affects all areas of the city.
“We will in the coming weeks reshuffle the schedule so that different areas experience load shedding at times that are different from the current schedule.”