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Prioritise patients, not politicians – DA

Why are ministers exempt from load shedding and hospitals are not? write the DA’s Ghaleb Cachalia and Michele Clarke in Politicsweb.

The DA finds it scandalous that the Bryntirion Estate, a small surburb in Pretoria where the official residences of Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet are located, is exempt from load shedding while hospitals are not.

According to the National Standard Regulating Load shedding (NRS 048-9:2019), hospitals are some of the national key points listed under institutions that are “scheduled for load shedding”. Although hospitals are required by law to have backup power sources and some municipalities, such as the City of Cape Town, exempt them from load shedding, the DA is of the strong view that the NRS (National Regulatory Services) should not make it optional for hospitals to be exempt from load shedding.

The DA will write to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa calling for an immediate review of the NRS regulations. Hospitals should be designated as exempt from load shedding as a matter of urgency and the pampered Cabinet’s Bryntirion Estate should be placed on load shedding schedules just as everyone else.

It is morally wrong for the architects of the ongoing load shedding crisis to have uninterrupted power supply while hospitals, which are often in the race against time to save lives, are made to contend with loss of power and unreliable generators.

Oversight visits that the DA has done to state hospitals to assess the impact of load shedding on the provision of healthcare, revealed that most of these health establishments do not have the necessary resources to maintain a stable power supply during load shedding. One of the hospitals, Rahima Moosa in Johannesburg, has unreliable generators and often has issues with the supply of diesel to power the generators.

With 2022 on course to be the worst load shedding year on record, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet has remained clueless on how to solve this urgent national crisis. The economy has lost hundreds of billions of rands and millions of South Africans have lost their jobs due to load shedding, yet the minister’s enclave in Bryntirion Estate continues to receive uninterrupted power supply.

It was an ill-advised decision from the onset to place hospitals on the non-exempt list of institutions that can be load shedded. The DA will use every tool at its disposal to correct this error of judgement and protect our hospitals from the inconvenience of load shedding.


PoliticsWeb article – Prioritise patients not politicians – Ghaleb Cachalia (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Floundering Rahima Moosa Hospital ‘needs to admit it has a crisis’


HRC to monitor Rahima Moosa, calls for reclassification of hospital


Eskom load shedding limiting Gauteng surgery schedules — DA


Coping with power outages – advice for healthcare professionals



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