20 April 2023
Dear Frankfort Residents and all of the thousands of concerned fellow citizens who wished us well over the last few weeks,
Despite Rural’s best efforts to lighten the negative effects of load shedding forced onto the Frankfort community due to Eskom not being able to supply South Africa with enough electricity, Rural has been unsuccessful in securing an urgent interdict against Eskom, which would have granted interim relief for Rural to continue with it’s practice of “voiding”, whilst the technical merits are being reviewed by NERSA in its process of dispute resolution.
The sole reason provided by the Honourable Judge in his judgement, relates to the fact that the Municipality decided not to get involved in the legal matter.
We have no doubt that should the Municipality have placed the needs of its community at the forefront, a different result may have been forthcoming. We can only hope there was no political meddling from outside of Mafube.
For transparency, we have placed a copy of the judgement below.
Rural now has no alternative but to switch off portions of the sunfarm during the day as from Friday 21 April 2023. Rural will therefore adhere to Eskom’s instructions and continue to apply power cuts to the community members who could otherwise have made use of the sun electricity produced by the solar farm. To reiterate, this means Rural Free State will no longer be allowed to lessen the negative effects of load shedding when the sun is shining and, in turn, will have to dump unused solar energy whilst parts of Frankfort experience load shedding.
We are obviously very disappointed with the outcome of the court case - especially in light of the fact that there is no negative impact for the Eskom National Grid. What is especially hard to swallow is the reluctance of the Mafube Local Municipality to support Rural’s effort to lessen load shedding, whilst constant load shedding seems to be our future.
Small businesses and citizens from all walks of life in Frankfort have come to rely on the reduction of load shedding when the sun was shining. This in turn has certainly contributed positively to the lives of every day people.
Rural will make a concerted effort to continue to engage both Eskom and NERSA in an attempt to try and understand Eskom’s reluctance to support Rural’s initiative. To date, Rural is still “in the dark” as to the real reason behind Eskom’s stance. Eskom has however lost a unique opportunity to gather factual evidence within a controlled environment to make informed future decisions which could have had a tremendous positive impact on South Africa as a whole.
For more information, please contact:
For those fellow South Africans living abroad and following our story, here is a stat to put our struggle into context. Today is the 20th of April 2023. It is the 110th day of the year. We have had 109 day’s of loadshedding.
Data supplied by https://theoutlier.co.za/loadshedding-tracker which was originally sourced from EskomSePush.
& the Rural Team