Aug 10, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Van Damme weighs in on calls to sue Eskom & government for load-shedding

Former DA MP Phumzile van Damme has joined calls to sue Eskom and the government over load shedding.

Hundreds of angry citizens are venting their anger made on social media as the load shedding seemingly gets worse with each winter day that passes. Eskom’s shifts between different phases of load shedding this week left many with the impression that it has no control.

Eskom said the stage 6 load shedding was due to some generators failing to restart.

“Due to unlawful and unprotected industrial action that has caused widespread disruption at Eskom’s power plants, Eskom is unable to restart some generators.

” This has forced Eskom to continue to take precautions to maintain backup generation capacity and protect the facility from damage. There remains a risk that the level of load shedding will have to be changed at any time depending on the condition of the plant,” Eskom said possible to bring a civil suit against the government over the power outages.

“By not providing access to basic services, it has violated rights and is causing economic damage. The loss can be quantifiable for a company. Individuals could demonstrate demonstrable losses,” Van Damme said.

She acknowledged that this might not be easy, but said she believed the courts would understand the cause.

“It may seem like a tall order, but I believe the courts would be benevolent… Access to electricity is not a codified constitutional right, but the argument can be made that the power outages are affecting access to other rights and therefore there is a violation,” she said.

“That is, if the argument is a constitutional one. In addition, loss of income and reduced quality of life are solid grounds for a lawsuit. This has precedent in case law and is an argument that can be made in civil proceedings.”

Van Damme said she hoped an organization or individuals with “appetite” would step in and say enough is enough.

“It’s not inexhaustible. We have talented lawyers and courts erring on the side of protecting and enforcing rights. I hope that an organization or individuals who are interested will join the fray and tell the government “enough”. It’s a gross failure of governance,” said Van Damme.

“[Take the] focus on just administrative action. Are the power outages just an administrative act? APAJA judicial review of any load shedding decision would force the government to release all Eskom-related records. The amount of corruption that could be exposed?

“If no organization or political party is willing to take this up on behalf of SA, active citizenship, crowdsourced funding, I am sure there is a lawyer who would provide his service pro bono. Do it.”

Eskom poured cold water on a proposed class action lawsuit against load shedding in 2019.

The law firmDe Beer Attorneys announcedthat it will take legal action against Eskom over the avoidable losses that load shedding causes to businesses and individuals. span>

< p>In responseEskom saidthat the law firm had little ground under its feet.

< p>The energy supplier stated that it relied on the 2010 National Code of Practice for Emergency Load Reduction and System Restoration Practices as a reason why the parastatal company could not be sued for load shedding.

In May, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan rejected callsfor Eskom to declare the state of the disaster, saying The declaration was not mandatory, as load shedding was a means to protect the system from full collapse.

“Eskom manages the stability of the grid with load shedding as a key mechanism to prevent collapse. Eskom or the government is under no obligation to declare such an emergency,” Gordhan said.

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