Power cuts paralyse Cape Town high court but 'load-shedding not to blame'

Power cuts have caused panic and frustration in the high court in Cape Town.
Power cuts have caused panic and frustration in the high court in Cape Town.
Image: Western Cape Government

Power cuts at the high court in Cape Town this week have sparked security concerns and frustration among staff and judges. The outages are not related to load-shedding.

Besides the security concerns, sources told TimesLIVE on Wednesday the power cuts had caused a huge case backlog and delayed justice.

The sources said up to 100 lawyers and litigants had been forced to wait for hours because the court hearing urgent cases could not sit.

The outages began on Monday and a source said: “The most dangerous accused in the  province are sitting with us with no security doors working.”

The high court and the CBD, which is home to parliament, the provincial legislature and a number of businesses, are exempt from load-shedding.

Kadri Nassiep, Cape Town's energy director, said the power cuts were caused by a fault in the system and not load-shedding.

“The high court and the CBD are exempted from load-shedding until beyond stage 6,” he said. “After stage 6 we will have to reconsider the situation because we will have to shed a substantial amount of load from the system. In some cases it may include the CBD.”

Nassiep, who was in a “load-shedding meeting”, said he understood that the fault had been attended to.

“I can’t give you a certain answer right now as to whether it has been completely resolved. I will have to find out and come back to you,” he said.


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