Eskom Holdings Ltd v Halstead-Cleak (599/2015) [2016] ZASCA 150 (30 September 2016) per Schoeman AJA (Lewis and Willis JJA; Fourie and Makgoka AJJA concurring)

The SCA allowed the appeal holding that a supplier of electricity is not ‘strictly liable’ for claims by persons who are not consumers, as described in s 61 of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008.

SCA summary:

Section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 does not create strict liability on the part of a supplier of electricity if the plaintiff is not a consumer vis-à-vis it.

On appeal from:

Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa (Pretoria) (Baqwa J sitting as court of first instance): judgment reported sub nom Halstead-Cleak v Eskom Holdings Ltd 2016 (2) SA 141 (GP)

1        The appeal is upheld with costs.

2        The order of the court below is replaced with the following:

‘1      (a)     The defendant is not liable to the plaintiff in terms of the provisions of s 61 of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008.

          (b)     The plaintiff’s claim, based on those provisions, is dismissed, with costs, those costs to include the costs of the pre-trial conference of 19 February 2015 and the costs of the trial that commenced on 23 February 2015.

          (c)      The plaintiff’s action is remitted to the trial court for the determination of the remaining issues in the action.’