Greenpeace statement on Water and Enivronmental Affairs Minister’s announcement on South Africa’s looming water crisis

Press release - February 29, 2012
Melita Steele, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa said: “Greenpeace believes that the South African government is interpreting the water crisis in an interesting manner: the investments in mega coal-fired power stations like Kusile are continuing despite the fact that vast amounts of an already scarce resource will be needed for these operations.'

This statement follows Minister Edna Molewa’s announcement that South Africa will face a  severe water crisis within the next decade if urgent steps are not taken.

Steele continued: “It is estimated that Kusile will use 26.15 million m3 of water per year, and according to The True Cost of Coal report[1] published by Greenpeace last year, 70% of the power station’s hidden costs are created by the opportunity cost of the water that Kusile will use. A long term vision is needed and this must lead to urgent steps which would protect South Africa from a full-blown water crisis. Clearly, Eskom must quit its chronic addiction to coal otherwise it will lock the country’s next generations into a dirty energy future”.

[1] The True Cost of Coal – paying the price of coal addiction. Available: http://www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/News/news/The-True-Cost-of-Coal/