Load shedding exemption must be expanded to include all hospitals

While the DA welcomes the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla’s announcement that several hospitals will be exempt from load shedding, we call on him to continue engaging with Eskom to ensure that each and every hospital in South Africa will be exempt.

The Department of Health must also ensure that all public health facilities are capacitated with working generators and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) equipment to ensure that all communities have uninterrupted access to health care.

We further call on the Minister to engage with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to amend section 8.6.15 of NRS 048-9:2019 (Part 9: Code of Practice – Load Reduction Practices, System Restoration Practices and Critical Load and Essential Load Requirements under Power System Emergencies) so that hospitals and medical centres are excluded from all future instances of load shedding.

Due to the ANC government’s massive systemic failure to maintain and upgrade the country’s power generating facilities to an acceptable degree, South Africa is facing years of rolling blackouts. Just this week, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter’s musing on the possibility of stage 15 load shedding sent the country into a tailspin.

Continued power supply for hospitals should not be at the behest of a power utility – it must be protected in legislation and regulations.