Greenpeace Africa has expressed concern over the proposed coal plant to be built in South Africa by Chinese state-owned companies, describing it as an ‘environmental hazard.’
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had a few days ago signed a new with China to build a new mega coal-fired 4,600MW power station in South Africa’s Limpopo province.
But Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s Political Advisor, described the agreement as irrational because it comes weeks after the release of the new draft of South Africa’s electricity plan (IRP 2018) – without any mention of coal plant development.
“How seriously can we take the draft IRP 2018 and the push by the Minister of Energy for policy certainty, when dodgy deals continue to be the order of the day,” he queried.
“There is no sane reason to invest in more coal, particularly since coal is already putting our contribution to address climate change at risk.”
Khambule also insisted that the project would lead to more pollution, higher water consumption and higher electricity tariffs.
“If these rumours are true, all promises for more rational decisions in the electricity sector seem to be meaningless,” he warned.
Consequently, Greenpeace Africa called on the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, to immediately clarify what the status of the agreement was and how it would fit into the 2018 IRP update.
“Until this happens, rumours will continue to circulate and public consultation on the 2018 IRP update becomes a complete farce, tick box exercise.” Khambule quipped.