Victory for ActionSA as Court Rules Loadshedding Unconstitutional & Exempts Hospitals, Schools and Police Stations

In a landmark judgement on Friday Afternoon, the 1st of December 2023, the Full Bench of the North Gauteng High Court again ruled that loadshedding is a result of Eskom’s and government’s failure to avoid and remedy same, and reiterated that loadshedding is unconstitutional, as it infringes on the basic rights of South Africans and ruled in favour of ActionSA’s previous request that hospitals, schools and police stations be exempted from experiencing rolling blackouts.

While the other applicants in the matter sought to have load-shedding declared unconstitutional, ActionSA was the only applicant to specifically ask the court previously for humanitarian relief to exempt hospitals, schools and police stations from load-shedding to ensure that these vital services continue uninterrupted.

The judgement is a victory for ActionSA and the South African people as it helps to ensure that communities across South Africa who have been negatively affected by police stations’ telephone lines not working due to load shedding, or hospitals failing to take care of sick patients when the lights go off, can now be assured that they get the basic services guaranteed by our constitution.

The judgement reads: “The Minister of Electricity is ordered to take all reasonable steps by no later than 31 January 2024… to prevent any interruption of supply as a result of load shedding to” public health establishments as defined in the National Health Act, all public schools as defined in the South African Schools Act, and South African Police Service and Police Stations as defined in the South African Police Service Act.

The court furthermore ruled that load shedding today is a result of the government’s failure to open the electricity generation market, implement the Independent Power Procurement Program, delays in constructing Medupi and Kusile, and failure to protect Eskom from criminal activity, corruption and state capture.

ActionSA thanks our legal representatives and Advocate Gillian Benson, who helped argue the matter on behalf of the party. The ruling is a step in the right direction to protect South Africans from the harm caused by the ruling party due to their failure to solve load shedding since it was first began in 2007. In 17 years, the ruling party has been unable to take action to address the energy crisis, and this judgment will therefore force action in this regard.

Load shedding remains one of our biggest inhibitors to job creation with thousands of small businesses forced to close as a result, while incidents of crime spike when load shedding occurs.

As a party committed to the South African people, ActionSA will continue to place pressure on the national government to act in the best interest of our people and protect our people from the devastating consequences of load shedding, and the governments continued failure to provide other essential services.