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Law firm calls on residents to sue Eskom

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“A cookie company, for example, which makes 10 000 cookies a day, could prove that, as a result of load shedding, they were only able to make 5 000 cookies. They could show a loss in profit”

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NORTHERN Cape residents who suffered financial losses as a result of load shedding can now opt to take legal action against Eskom.

This comes after a law firm, De Beer Attorneys, yesterday called on South Africans who suffered financial losses as a result of load shedding to get in touch with the firm as they prepare to take legal action against Eskom.

Managing partner at the firm, Elaine Bergenthuin, said they were gearing up for a class action against the power utility for losses suffered by businesses and individuals.

They expected Eskom to argue that load shedding was neither wrongful nor negligent, as it was a responsible response to the electricity crisis. The power utility recently came under the spotlight after implementing rotational load shedding, citing shortage of capacity.

However, Bergenthuin said it could be argued that the electricity crisis was as a result of Eskom’s negligence in maintaining the electricity infrastructure and the power utility should therefore be held accountable for the losses suffered.

“We have received a lot of interest and are calling people to come forward to strengthen the case,” Bergenthuin said.

Losses could include anything from damaged appliances to loss of profit, Bergenthuin said.

“A cookie company, for example, which makes 10 000 cookies a day, could prove that, as a result of load shedding, they were only able to make 5 000 cookies. They could show a loss in profit,” Bergenthuin said.

Eskom stated: “The General Public Liability policy has the current exclusion below. Based on this exclusion, load shedding events will not be covered. No indemnity is granted by this policy against liability for: failure to supply arising out of any interruption of, variation or fluctuation in the supply of electricity, which is not consequent upon damage to generation and/or transmission plant or equipment.”

Anyone wishing to contact De Beer Attorneys can e-mail [email protected]