Eskom believes De Beer Attorneys – seeking to initiate a class action suit against it on behalf of companies which have been affected by load shedding – has little chance of success.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said that legal advice the power utility had received relied largely on the National Code of Practice for Emergency Load Reduction and System Restoration Practices, published by the SABS in 2010 and approved as a regulatory standard by the National Energy Regulator.

According to a Fin24 report, Phasiwe said that in terms of Eskom's supply agreement with either a municipality or with an individual customer, Eskom does not guarantee uninterrupted power supply.

Quoting the legal advice, he said: ‘Eskom reserves the right to interrupt supply of electricity either through load shedding, unplanned outages and planned outages.’

He said that – based on the legal advice – even though electricity infrastructure systems are generally able to deal with interruptions in electricity from time to time, ‘their interdependence and vulnerability to a national blackout is significant’.

Additionally, the financial implications of a national blackout far outweigh the ‘economic costs of manual load curtailment or shedding’.

Full Fin24 report