Eskom’s mistake – not giving proper notice
In a recent legal case, the Johannesburg High Court handed down a verdict against Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd (“Eskom”) in the De Koker v Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd and Another case. This case sheds light on the importance of providing proper notice when disconnecting electricity in sectional title schemes and the implications of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (“PAJA”).
Eskom supplied electricity to a sectional title scheme owned by Lutzacode (Pty) Ltd, where tenants managed their power through pre-paid meters. When the landlord failed to remit payments collected from tenants to Eskom, the power supply to the scheme was disconnected.
A tenant, with no direct contractual link to Eskom, filed an urgent application with the Johannesburg High Court, asserting that the disconnection caused significant hardships and infringed on constitutional rights, including security, employment, and daily life. The central issue was whether Eskom, despite the lack of a direct contractual relationship, was obliged under PAJA to notify tenants before disconnecting electricity.
The Johannesburg High Court ruled in favour of the tenant, requiring Eskom to provide proper notice and an opportunity for tenants to make representations before any electricity termination. This was an interim interdict, mandating Eskom to restore the electricity supply to the scheme and prohibiting disconnection without proper notice. A notice attached to the security gate and common areas, offering 14 days’ notice before disconnection, was considered adequate.
 (077168/2023)  ZAGPJHC 1046 (19 September 2023), which can be accessed here, http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPJHC/2023/1046.html.
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