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Compiled by Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Gordhan to appeal court ruling on load shedding exemptions

The DPE is concerned the ruling will impact operations to stabilise the national grid.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said his department would file an urgent appeal to set aside a judgment handed down by the North Gauteng High Court Friday.

The court ordered government to exempt all public hospitals, clinics, schools and police stations from load shedding.

Gordhan said the department had serious concerns about the implications of such a court ruling because it directly impacts on the stability of the national grid.

“The department has studied the ruling and has determined through legal advice that the prudent step to take is to lodge an appeal to set aside the ruling and allow for the ongoing efforts to end load shedding to proceed without putting undue risk on the country’s grid infrastructure,” Gordhan said.

“While the department respects the independence of the courts, in this case the department believes that the judgment would have unintended consequences and undermine the very efforts to balance the protection of the rights that were ventilated in this case, with the need to stabilise and protect our grid infrastructure,” Gordhan added.

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What the court ruled

The court on Friday, ordered Gordhan to “take all reasonable steps within 60 days” to make sure there is sufficient electricity supply to the facilities.

The minister was also tasked with ensuring that back-up generators and other alternate energy supplies are secured to prevent power cuts.

The court then reserved judgment in part B of the case.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) and 18 other litigants had approached the court to compel government to exempt essential services like public health institutions and schools, among others, from load shedding.

They also applied for exemptions on water and sanitation services, small businesses that deal in perishable goods, and cellphone networks from rolling blackouts.

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa.

NOW READ: Court orders government to exempt schools, hospitals, police stations from load shedding

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