Can You Sue Eskom for Load Shedding-Related Appliance Damage? While load shedding in South Africa can lead to damage to electrical appliances, suing Eskom for such damage can be a challenging legal process. To pursue a legal claim, individuals typically have a few potential avenues.
Can You Take Legal Action Against Eskom for Appliance Damage During Load Shedding
Breach of Contract:
One possible legal avenue is a breach of contract. However, due to Eskom’s standard terms and conditions, they can only be held liable for damage to appliances resulting from specific factors, such as interruptions in supply or voltage variations.
To succeed with a contractual claim against Eskom, you would also need to prove that load shedding amounts to negligent conduct on Eskom’s part.
Another option is pursuing a delictual claim, which requires proving five elements: conduct, wrongfulness, fault, causation, and damage.
In this case, you would have to demonstrate that load shedding constitutes negligent conduct by Eskom, resulting in damages.
Consumer Protection Act (CPA):
Section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act imposes strict liability on suppliers for harm or damage caused by unsafe or defective goods. In this context, strict liability means that negligence is not a requirement.
You need to prove that you suffered damage due to goods supplied that were unsafe or resulted from a product failure, defect, or hazard.
This provision imposes liability on suppliers, regardless of fault.
In the case of electrical appliances damaged during load shedding, there may be a transaction with Eskom when you purchase electricity.
If this transaction leads to consequential damages, they could be attributed to the electricity supplied by Eskom.
It’s important to note that suppliers may escape liability for negligence if their terms and conditions specifically condone it, as allowed under section 51 of the CPA.
However, this protection does not apply to claims for consequential damages brought under section 61.
While the outcome of future legal cases will determine how courts handle these claims, if a case succeeds in favor of consumers, it could potentially open the door for more litigation against Eskom.
Please consult with a legal professional for specific advice regarding your situation.