Is Eskom prepared to act to save South Africa’s water? Challenge them now!

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Feature story - April 25, 2012
We hear the word ‘crisis’ regularly in South Africa at the moment. It’s easy to start thinking that perhaps analysts are over-reacting – surely things can’t possibly be that bad?

The reality may be that things are in fact about to get worse.

With electricity prices set to jump by 16% again this winter, this country faces an electricity crisis. South Africans will simply be unable to afford the price of electricity, as social grants battle to keep pace with electricity price increases. But that’s not all. Not only are people struggling to afford electricity, but the type of electricity investments that Eskom is making will create an even larger problem. Despite recently claiming that water is one of the critical criteria the utility considers around investments, mega coal-fired power stations like Kusile will use huge amounts of scarce water, thereby worsening South Africa’s emerging water crisis.

Eskom continues to make public statements about addressing the water crisis. But words are not enough. What Greenpeace Africa would like to see is Eskom taking bold steps to avoid the twin crises of water scarcity and unaffordable electricity. The choices that are made now have major implications for the kind of future we will all face. It is possible to stop using the word ‘crisis’, but only if the right decisions and courageous steps are taken today. That is when a crisis can become an opportunity for change.

The clock is ticking, but it’s not yet too late for Eskom to change. Instead of announcing steadily increasing electricity prices to pay for new coal-fired power stations, Greenpeace challenges Eskom to step up, take responsibility, and send out a very different kind of announcement.

Since Eskom seems to be having trouble coming with such an announcement, we've made one for them. Read on at

Greenpeace activists hang from a crane inside Eskom's Kusile power plant in the Delmas municipal area of the Mpumalanga province, with banners reading 'Kusile: Climate Killer'.  Greenpeace is calling on the state owned utility ESKOM to abandon Kusile coal fired power plant, which is set to become worlds fourth most polluting power plant in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and to instead invest in both green energy sources and jobs.