Kusile’s plan to bypass pollution controls will cost people in Mpumalanga dearly

  • Eskom’s latest plan to get three units at Kusile coal power station in Mpumalanga back into operation would lead to unabated and increased sulphur dioxide (SO2) pollution at a deadly health cost to local communities.

The Life After Coal campaign (LAC), a joint campaign by Earthlife Africa (ELA), groundWork (gW), and the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) has made legal submissions on Eskom’s application for postponement of compliance with applicable Minimum Emissions Standards for SO2. Eskom wants to bypass pollution control measures by building a temporary stack over the next 7-8 months, while it repairs the permanent stack damaged in a structural failure in October 2022.

Related news: Eskom welcomes air pollution bypass at Kusile coal fired power station

In the 2022 judgment of the “Deadly Air case”, the Pretoria High Court confirmed that failure to adequately control air pollution in the Highveld Priority Area (“HPA”) is an infringement of the Constitutional right to an environment not harmful to health or wellbeing.

“Against a backdrop of raging debate, contradiction and deeply damaging policy uncertainty around the future of coal-fired electricity, we are faced with this practical and tragic example of how the system continues to fail, and literally sacrifices people living in the Mpumalanga Highveld and elsewhere” Makoma Lekalakala , Director at Earthlife Africa.  

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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