IFP Delighted with Court Order to Exempt Hospitals, Schools, and Police Stations from Loadshedding

May 6, 2023 | Press Releases

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is delighted that the Court has ordered the Minister of Public Enterprises to “take all reasonable steps within 60 days… to ensure that there shall be sufficient supply or generation of electricity to prevent any interruption of supply as a result of loadshedding to… all ‘public health establishments’… all ‘public schools’ and the ‘South African Police Service’ and ‘police stations’”.

The IFP was one of 19 applicants who jointly approached the High Court to seek relief “aimed at reducing the prejudicial impact of loadshedding on public health facilities, police stations and schools which do not have sufficient alternative energy sources available to them”. We were of the firm belief that “without such energy sources the Constitutional rights of citizens to healthcare, security and education are infringed upon”.

The impact of loadshedding on public healthcare facilities, schools and police stations tends to have a much more devastating impact in our rural areas, where these facilities are often already under-resourced. This has led to loss of life in hospitals, where life-saving equipment is unable to function without power. Schools have lost untold hours of teaching time, often even closing for the day. This means that not only do the children fall behind in their studies but are also deprived of a hot meal provided by the school. Crime, which is already a huge threat to our society has also flourished under the cover of darkness while police stations are unable to operate.

We are grateful that the Court recognised the significance of the impact of loadshedding on the daily lives of particularly poor South Africans, and has stepped in to compel government to make amends.

We will be closely monitoring the actions taken by the Minister of Public Enterprises to ensure the Court Order is obeyed, and that Eskom and the impacted Municipalities are instructed to institute the necessary exemptions. Further, as per the Court Order, where exemptions are not possible, alternative solutions must be provided – such as sufficient generators – as well as the funds to provide for the diesel needed to run such.

We trust that all stipulations of the Court Order will be met, and that it will not be necessary to take such drastic action yet again.

As the IFP, however, we will not hesitate to step in – as we did recently with the National School Nutrition Scheme debacle – in order to put the needs of the people first.

Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa MPL
President of the IFP and Leader of the Official Opposition in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
082 873 3685

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