For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.
Making headlines: Gordhan says record power cuts set to ease; Calls grow for load-shedding exemptions for healthcare facilities; And, ConCourt gives Parliament two years to remedy defects in Copyright Act
Gordhan says record power cuts set to ease
According to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan load-shedding should ease over the coming days and the nation’s electricity supply will continue to improve over the medium term as new investments bolster generation.
However, he said while load-shedding will stay with South Africa for a while it won't be of the order that has been seen in the recent past.
He said Eskom’s management has “done the best they can.
Eskom implements rolling blackouts when it fails to meet demand in order to keep the grid from a total collapse, which would potentially result in a prolonged outage. Gordhan said there was “no risk whatsoever” of that happening.
Calls grow for load-shedding exemptions for healthcare facilities
Calls are growing for hospitals and clinics to be turned into load-shedding-free zones.
Since last week, Eskom has implemented the Stage 6 load-shedding, citing breakdowns at power plants.
The situation prompted the Health Professions Council of South Africa to request load-shedding exemptions for public clinics and hospitals.
In a statement, council president Professor Simon Nemutandani said because of load-shedding, "hospitals in the country are buckling under pressure".
According to Nemutandani, more than 80% of South Africans depend on the public health system. The country has about 420 state-run hospitals and more than 3 000 state-run clinics.
While private facilities and secondary and tertiary public hospitals have generator banks, not all smaller hospitals and clinics have them.
And, ConCourt gives Parliament two years to remedy defects in Copyright Act
The Constitutional Court has given Parliament 24 months to cure defects in the Copyright Act after declaring sections of the Act invalid, unconstitutional and inconsistent with the rights of people who have visual and print disabilities.
On Wednesday, the apex court found that the Act limited visually impaired people's access to published literary works and artistic works.
BlindSA and Section27 launched the litigation in April last year. However, before it reached the Constitutional Court, the Gauteng High Court ruled that the provisions imposed a "book famine" for the blind and visually impaired and that this amounted to an "unjustifiable limit to their rights."
BlindSA's argument was that the Act was an "apartheid-era" law that infringed on the rights of persons with visual disabilities, particularly the rights to equality, dignity, basic and further education, freedom of expression, language and participation in the cultural life of their choice.
Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said they would familiarise themselves with the judgment.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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