South Africa: Court-Declared Government Culpability in SA's Power Failure Could Be Opposition's Great Asset in 2024 Poll


A high court ruling that the South African government has breached the Constitution and the human rights of citizens by failing to run the power system properly is going to have big implications for our debates around load shedding - and our politics. It is going to be used by opposition parties as proof of the ANC's failure to provide services. Government may be forced to appeal the ruling that it must provide services, during an election when it will argue it should again be entrusted with the very same service delivery. What the ruling will not do, is end load shedding.

On Friday, 1 December, the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria handed down a judgment in a case brought by opposition parties in which three judges found that government was responsible for load shedding, and the numerous failures that led to it.

It also ruled that government (in the form of Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa) must take steps to stop the interruption of power to public health facilities, police stations and schools by the end of January.

These findings are likely to have important consequences.

Of course, the causes of load shedding have been known for years. In the beginning, it was the fault of the ANC government.

It was then perpetuated by the ANC.

Even now, the ANC's internal politics stops government from working on stopping it.

All that said, this judgment is still important.

Now, the judges have declared this is the fault of the ANC government and, by implication, all of their deployees.

The judges also explained how the lack of investment, the failure to stop State Capture at Eskom, and all the mistakes since then brought us to the current mess.

This will now allow opposition parties to throw this...

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.