/ 30 September 2022

A tenth of public hospitals across South Africa exempted from load-shedding

Strategies and active responses are needed to reverse the collapse of the health system, rights group Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) said this week. (Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A tenth of South Africa’s public healthcare facilities have been exempted from the relentless rolling blackouts that the country has had to contend with for about a month as Eskom battles to avoid a collapse of the grid.

In a news briefing on Friday about the impact of load-shedding on health facilities across the country, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the government was doing all it could to mitigate it. The effect of the rotational power cuts on the health system could not be underestimated or overemphasised, he said.

“Load-shedding is a risk to the efforts to deliver on our constitutional mandate of protecting, promoting and maintaining the health, safety and well-being of patients and the public by ensuring quality pharmaceutical service for all South Africans,” Phaahla said.

He added that no deaths linked to load-shedding at hospitals had been reported to date.

Alternative energy sources such as generators and uninterrupted power supply systems  are in place at the majority of public health facilities, but are not designed to provide back-up electricity for lengthy periods. Phaahla said some generators were also old, while others did not have the capacity to power an entire facility. 

Added to that, by September, several public health facilities had exhausted their 12-month supply of diesel and oil.

Eskom is currently implementing stage four load-shedding but is due to downgrade this to stage three from 5am on Saturday for the duration of the weekend.

On Friday, deputy health minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo said hospitals had constituency plans in place when there are blackouts. 

Phaahla said by the end of this week, 37 hospitals had been excluded from load-shedding and more would be added to the exemption list in coming days.

For now, private hospitals are not exempted, but Phaahla acknowledged that the department was responsible for all healthcare services in South Africa and that there were discussions with Eskom, provincial and local governments to add private facilities to the exemption list.  

Provinces where the load-shedding concession for hospitals is not yet in place include the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West. 

The minister said discussions between the department, Eskom and local governments are a “work-in-process”. 

The following health facilities are exempted from load-shedding as of this week.


  • Charlotte Maxeke Hospital 
  • Helen Joseph Hospital 
  • Steve Biko Academic Hospital 
  • George Mukhari Hospital 
  • Pretoria West Hospital 
  • Tshwane District Hospital
  • Mamelodi Hospital
  • Bronkhorspruit Hospital 
  • Kalafong Hospital

Free State 

  • Pelonomi Regional Hospital


  • Harry Gwala Hospital
  • Greys Hospital 
  • Ladysmith Hospital 
  • Prince Mshiyeni Hospital 
  • RK Khan Hospital 
  • Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital 
  • McCords Hospital 
  • King Dinuzulu Hospital 
  • Mandela Children’s Hospital 
  • Mahatma Gandhi Hospital
  • Osindisweni Hospital 
  • St Aidans Hospital 
  • Addington Hospital
  • Clairwood Hospital


  • Mankweng Hospital
  • Lebowakgomo Hospital
  • Dilokong Hospital
  • Mecklenburg Hospital

Eastern Cape 

  • Frere Hospital
  • Elliot Hospital 
  • Livingstone Hospital 
  • PE Hospital 
  • Uitenhage Hospital

Western Cape 

  • Tygerberg Hospital
  • Groote Schuur Hospital
  • Red Cross Hospital