- Trade union NUM accuses SA Energy Minister of clear ploy to privatise the power utility, which will lead to people losing their jobs.
- NUM is not against cleaner energy; cleaner energy must be independent and operate as an independent entity and compete with Eskom.
- South Africa’s coal dependent power sector has the highest emissions intensities in the world which currently stands at 961 gCO2/kWh.
At an official protest march to the Union Buildings yesterday, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) President Joseph Montisetsi accused government of “using Independent Power Producers (IPP’s) to collapse Eskom”. He accused SA’s Minister of Energy Minister, Jeff Radebe of “dodgy overnight dealings” when he signed off on 27 IPP projects earlier this year. He announced that the Ministers actions were a clear ploy to privatise the power utility, which will lead to people losing their jobs.
Montisetsi insisted that the NUM was not opposed to renewable energy, but its introduction should be fair and not against the working class. “NUM is not against cleaner energy; cleaner energy must be independent and operate as an independent entity and compete with Eskom,” he stated.
The marchers were joined by members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and union federation Cosatu.
According to the UN’s Brown to Green Report released at the recent G20 Summit, South Africa’s coal dominated power sector has the highest emissions intensities in the world which currently stands at 961 gCO2/kWh. The report also highlights a lack concrete actions to phase out coal by the SA Government.
The Paris Agreement, signed by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa in April 2016, commits Eskom to new plant minimum emissions standards for coal-fired power stations from 2020. Eskom faces stiff penalties and isolation from the international funding community if they do not comply. Read: Coal and Renewables – No Reason Why They Cannot be Friends in Transition.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal