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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Numsa welcomes landmark ruling declaring load shedding unconstitutional

The trade union says the victory belongs to the "working class and the poor of our country".

As the country continues to battle persistent power cuts, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numa) said the landmark judgment declaring load shedding to be in breach of various basic rights means that government has no choice but to take decisive action to ensure it upholds the court order.

Numsa welcomed the judgment which also ordered Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa to “take all reasonable steps” to ensure critical state services aren’t affected by it.

A full bench of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday declared load shedding unconstitutional and a violation of basic human rights.

The judgment comes on the back of a case brought by various political parties, civil society organisation and Numsa among one of the applicants in the matter.

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Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Majola said government has been ordered to take action against the deliberate power cuts.

Majola said the victory belongs to the “working class and the poor of our country.”

“The latest court decision means that government has no choice but to take decisive action to ensure they uphold the court order. The state must withdraw from all the deals they signed with the World Bank and other international financial institutions.

“They must invest in coal and in the maintenance of coal fired power stations. They have to restart all the power stations which have been mothballed. This will end load shedding today,” Majola said.

ALSO READ: Law firms, political parties take fight to Eskom over load shedding

ANC to blame

Majola added the rolling blackouts have been caused by an “ANC government whose leadership is busy implementing a fake Just Energy Transition”.

“The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPP’s) are extremely costly, and they are failing to provide a reliable supply of energy to the grid.”

Majola said Numsa is calling for a “proper consultation process with all social partners in the country to enable the public to decide on an energy mix which is suitable for us”.

Meanwhile, government said it has taken note of the judgment.

“The Presidency is studying the judgment and will in due course pronounce on further steps on the matter.”

ALSO READ: Eskom reduces load shedding to lower stages until Friday – Here’s your schedule

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