Eskom faces court case over load reduction

Sakeliga has collaborated with Agri North-West, TLU SA, and various affected businesses to launch a court application against Eskom’s targeted load reduction on various feeder lines across the country.

Load reduction is implemented over and above national load-shedding to cut more power in targeted areas.

“For more than a year now, Eskom has regularly and for hours on end been terminating the power supply of direct users on certain feeder lines in an apparent attempt to curb illegal usage and to collect debts,” said Sakeliga.

“In the process, paying end users – often businesses and farms – are also targeted.”

Sakeliga and its partners in this application argue that load reduction causes significant disruption to production processes and damage to equipment.

Sakeliga’s battle with Eskom

The organisation said it sent a letter to Eskom on 1 August 2022 demanding that illegal load reduction on specifically-identified feeder lines be stopped.

However, Eskom reportedly did not respond to this letter of demand – hence the court application.

“Although the Electricity Regulation Act provides for a form of load reduction, this may never involve a complete cessation of electricity supply but only an appropriate reduction in load size,” said Sakeliga.

“Load reduction may also not be used as a debt collection mechanism.”

However, Sakeliga claims to have correspondence that indicates that Eskom does implement load reduction on targeted feeder lines in an attempt to collect debts and curb illegal usage.

“In the process, several paying end-users’ electricity supply is often terminated for hours on end,” said Sakeliga.

“It is unacceptable that paying end-users’ businesses and livelihoods must bear the brunt of negligence and deterioration at Eskom.”

Sakeliga said that this court case aims to bring interim relief to many businesses and households, and it will continue with its larger legal battle to remove obstructions to alternative electricity in South Africa.

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Eskom faces court case over load reduction