A coalition of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and the Build One SA (BOSA) movement, is demanding that government exempt all hospitals and schools from power cuts.
As Eskom currently alternates between stages three and four of outages, the coalition filed court papers on Monday to try and get the utility’s looming tariff increase scrapped soon.
This after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) gave Eskom the go-ahead to hike electricity prices by 18.65 %, effective from the start of April.
The broad coalition said President Cyril Ramaphosa and Department of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan needed to produce a plan to alleviate the impact of load shedding on the health, schooling, telecommunications, policing, and water sectors within seven days of the court hearing, which could happen at the end of February.
BOSA leader Mmusi Maimane said the court order also planned to protect critical infrastructure and entities from the many effects of rolling power cuts.
“If a school is open, it must be given an alternative power source, such as municipal services and water. These are fundamentally important things if we are going to get through the process of load shedding,” he emphasised.
Maimane also said he hoped the courts suspended the double-digit tariff increase.