Eskom has responded to plans by De Beer Attorneys to take legal action against the state-owned power utility, stating that it cannot be sued for implementing load-shedding.
De Beer Attorneys aims to sue Eskom with regards to preventable losses suffered by businesses and individuals as a result of the controlled blackouts.
Eskom said in its statement that it has the authority to legally interrupt the supply of power to prevent a blackout or energy crisis.
“Eskom supply agreements with either the municipality or with an individual customer makes provision that Eskom does not guarantee uninterrupted supply of electricity,” Eskom said.
“Eskom reserves the right interrupt supply of electricity either through load-shedding, unplanned outages, and planned outages.”
The utility noted that load-shedding is done countrywide as a controlled measure to prevent national blackouts.
“Electricity must be generated and consumed in real time. Should the available generation not be able to meet demand, the system operator is required to reduce load through manual interventions as an emergency response measure to prevent a national blackout,” Eskom said.
“The financial implications associated with a national blackout far outweigh the economic cost of manual load curtailment or shedding.”
According to energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland, Eskom’s energy availability factor (EAF) for 2019 is significantly lower than what it was in the past three years – which is cause for serious concern.
This could lead to major issues in the winter months and cannot be explained by a lack of maintenance alone.
Eskom, however, has stated that no load-shedding will take place in the future if all goes to plan – adding that if it was required to curtail energy usage, it would only implement stage 1 load-shedding.