Update on UDM and others’ taking government and Eskom to court on loadshedding, and our planned march in Mthatha
The United Democratic Movement (UDM) had late last year announced that it had joined hands with other concerned South Africans to take government and Eskom to court regarding the provision of sustained, reliable electricity to all South Africans in line with their rights and basic service delivery needs.
The President of the Republic, Eskom and others have responded to the court papers and on 20 March 2023 a full bench will hear the case in the High Court in Pretoria.
Eskom has at long last given details on the construction of the Kusile and Medupi power plants and how the ruling party’s investment arm, Chancellor House, benefitted through suspected corruption from the Eskom/Hitachi deal.
In the papers filed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in reply to our court challenge, he has shockingly stated that municipalities are responsible for the provision of electricity to the people “as a matter of public duty” and that “This duty does not lie with the president or any of the national departments cited herein as respondents.”
Notwithstanding Mr Ramaphosa’s apparent callous response and assertion that he has no power, what the President seemingly forgets (and hiding behind legal technicalities), is that municipalities are not the ones that determine the national loadshedding prerogatives, nor even the need for loadshedding to start off with.
The UDM Eastern Cape Provincial Council had convened yesterday, 26 February 2023, to discuss various issues of provincial and national importance.
The impacts of loadshedding; the water crisis of the OR Tambo Region; the atrocious condition of roads in the entire Eastern Cape; the state of collapse of school, hospital and government buildings; and the failing waste management in the province were highlighted during the discourse on Sunday.
The UDM Eastern Cape Provincial Council had therefore resolved to organise a march on 17 March in Mthatha in solidarity with the aforementioned hearing of the loadshedding court case on 20 March 2023.
The assembly point for the march will be Richardson Park, Mthatha, and will proceed to the relevant government buildings. The community of the OR Tambo Region and members of the public are invited to participate in the march.
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
President of the United Democratic Movement