Halstead-Cleak v Eskom Holdings Limited [2015] JOL 33332 (GP) dated 1 June 2015 per SAM Baqwa J.

The High Court upheld a claim for serious personal injuries sustained by a bicycle rider after colliding with a low-hanging live power line and suffering severe burns.  Eskom controlled all power lines that did not fall under the control of any local authority and was held liable.  The plaintiff relied on negligence and strict statutory liability as provided by s 61, read with s 53, of the Consumer Protection Act  68 of 2008 (CPA).  It was agreed to proceed with the claim based on strict liability only and this excluded any possible contributory negligence concerning the CPA claim.  The High Court rejected Eskom’s argument that the ‘CPA is about consumerism and the protection of consumers and that had the plaintiff suffered the electrical burns that he did in the course of utilising the supply of electricity to his home, or otherwise in the course of his use of electricity, then the CPA might well have applied’.