Greenpeace challenges Eskom to cancel Kusile to save South Africa’s water

Press release - April 25, 2012
Johannesburg, 25 April 2012 - In an open-letter to Eskom accompanied by an unconventional spoof announcement in the SA daily newspaper Business Day today (pg 6,7), Greenpeace Africa challenged Eskom to cancel Kusile in order to avoid the twin crises of unaffordable electricity, and water scarcity.

 Electricity prices are set to jump by 16% again this winter, and this country faces an electricity crisis, as South Africans are progressively unable to afford the price of electricity. The open letter made it clear that not only will people increasingly struggle to afford electricity, but that in addition, the type of massive coal-fired power stations Eskom is investing in will use huge amounts of scarce water, thereby worsening South Africa’s emerging water crisis.

“Eskom continues to make public statements about how important addressing the water crisis is. However words are not enough. Despite using the latest technology, for every unit of electricity produced, Kusile will use 173 times more water than wind power would use. Clearly, Kusile’s water use is unsustainable, and an unacceptable risk for South Africa. Investing in renewables will lower the price of electricity in the long term, and create an electricity system that is able to deliver electricity to all South Africans ” said Melita Steele, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

“The clock is ticking. What Greenpeace would like to see is Eskom averting disaster, and announcing the cancellation of Kusile, instead of announcing steadily increasing electricity prices to pay for new coal-fired power stations” continued Steele.

Contact:

Mbong Akiy: 0716881274,

Melita Steele: 0725608703,



[1] To see a version of the announcement go to www.GreenEskom.co.za