December 11, 2023

Electricity Minister concerned about budget to exempt essential services from loadshedding

The electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgop

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said they would report back to the public once legal advice had been received on the matter of exempting schools and hospitals from loadshedding. This following the Pretoria High Court?s judgment that the government should exempt schools, hospitals and police stations from loadshedding by the end of January 2024 as it is deemed unconstitutional.


During a media briefing on yesterday, Ramokgopa said he understood that they were bound by the constitution to exempt essential services from power cuts but they are still figuring out how to implement this.

Therefore, they have sought legal advice on the matter ro make sure that they are not misinterpreting the judgment.

The case was brought by 19 applicants against Eskom, President Cyril Ramaphosa and others to declare load-shedding unconstitutional.

The applicants include the UDM, Action SA, the IFP, BOSA, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

"There are two interpretations possible. The one interpretation is that by the 31st (of January) there is a plan, these institutions will not be loadshed, come February 1 they are exempted. The second interpretation could be that by the 31st we come before the court and say this is how we will address this.Like I said, I am no legal fundi, the legal people will be advising us on what that interpretation is," he said.


Ramokgopa said it is a well known thing that the country is caught in the middle of an electricity crisis but the are other things to consider like budget.

"Depending on which interpretation, then we must go to the budget. Do we have enough to roll out those alternative power solutions to police stations, to schools and to hospitals? It's a conversation that will still happen in government as a function of how we understand the ruling."

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