Home PodcastInayet Wadee Muslim bodies want the lights on for Eid

Muslim bodies want the lights on for Eid

by Zahid Jadwat

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and Al-Jamah Party are seeking a reprieve from loadshedding on Eid Al Fitr. The MJC wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and his electricity minister Kgosientso Ramokgopa to request a hiatus from blackouts.

Eid Al Fitr will be celebrated by Muslims the world over after a long month of fasting. Families usually gather for meals and participate in various celebratory activities on the day, which the MJC used to underscore its request to the government.

The nation has been experiencing a protracted bout of loadshedding since late last year, with only a handful of days without electricity blackouts. Experts even said Stage 7 was quietly implemented last week under the guise of Stage 6.

“Families will congregate, cook family meals, and share in the essence of joy and togetherness. The prevalence of load shedding these days will impede Muslims from experiencing the full extent of such quality family time through rather obvious manifestations of load shedding,” the MJC said in an open letter.


SMread: Should SA extend the lifespan of its power plants?

Previous exemptions

Speaking in an interview on Salaamedia, the Cape Town-based organisation’s Sheikh Riaad Fatar noted there were earlier requests for religious holidays to be loadshedding-free. The most recent instance was last Christmas.

“It’s not an unexpected request. This community has gone through a whole month of Ramadan with loadshedding. Even in the masjid. We’re speaking in the name of being fair and just to all the citizens of South Africa,” he said.

“The president has in the past said he will make sure that for Christmas people will not be in darkness,” said Fataar, adding that religious leaders would use the same channels to the president as those established in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This continued with loadshedding and all the things that have come with it. We are hoping that we could reach the president through the same channels. While some have said the president is not in charge of the schedules, he is the main guy. We hope that the minister of electricity will also look favourably at the request.”

He pleaded for a reprieve lasting “not for a month, not even a week, just for this weekend when we will have our Eid”.

Related Videos