Johannesburg – The SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said it would protest outside the offices of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, on Friday.
The trade union federation said it was not pleased with Gordhan’s decision to appeal a court ruling exempting police stations, hospitals, and schools from load shedding.
The case had been brought forth by a number of civil society organisations that argued that the government should be able to supply strategic institutions such as hospitals and schools with constant electricity. But the Department of Public Enterprises argued that complying with the ruling would be challenging for Eskom.
Saftu spokesperson Trevor Shaku said the federation found the Department of Public Enterprises’ stance on the matter confusing.
‘’In a ruling early this month, the North Gauteng High Court ordered the government to exempt public schools, the South African Police Service and its police stations, and the public health institutions from load shedding. The high court specifically instructed the Minister of Public Enterprises to take reasonable steps within 60 days from the time of the ruling to ensure sufficient electricity generation to prevent power cuts to these essential institutions,’’ said Shaku.
Shaku added that the union believed that the Department of Public Enterprises was taking an arrogant posture in a situation that impacted the lives of all South Africans, especially those in hospitals and schools.
‘’The minister must channel the resources to ensure that they restore Eskom to stability and provide uninterrupted electricity supply to our people. To actualise our opposition to Minister Gordhan’s appeal, Saftu will picket outside DPE,’’ Shaku said.
Gordhan’s decision to appeal the court ruling has received wide attention from many civil groups. His department has defended the decision, saying that the minister was acting pragmatically to ensure that the national grid does not collapse.
Source : IOL