Students lose battle for power

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

Hopes by students at the University of Venda to have an alternative source of power supply during load shedding were dashed yesterday when the Thohoyandou high court ruled against the proposal.

The ruling comes after student organisations took the institution and Eskom to court last month to seek relief during load sheddings.

The court dismissed the application with costs.

Dismissing the application, acting Judge A Snyman said the university did not have authority to supply power to the students.

"The university has no legal obligation to provide alternative sources during power cuts and the institution has no control over Eskom," said Judge Snyman.

The students had earlier complained about failure to access the library because of power cuts.

The court advised the students to make alternative arrangements to use some of the university's facilities as it was possible that load shedding could resume.

The students said they would consider the judgment and then decide their next step.

They had argued that load shedding impacted negatively on their right to learn given that they were paying for certain services.

The thrust of their argument was that it was incumbent on the university to provide generators for alternative power when load shedding occurred.

It was not clear after the court ruling yesterday what would happen if power cuts resumed.