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15 May 2020, Johannesburg — Media reported today that Eskom is seeking to delay the closure of three of its ancient coal-fired power stations – Grootvlei, Camden and Hendrina. In response, Greenpeace Africa’s Climate and Energy Campaigner Nhlanhla Sibisi has said:

 “Eskom shows South Africa again and again that it has no regard for human life and is simply unable to live up to its commitments. To be so willing to delay the inevitable closure of its ancient fleet only indicates that it has no reservations about the thousands [1] of South African lives it will annihilate. Meanwhile it continues, even under new leadership, to twiddle its thumbs and avoid taking accountability for its role in plunging South Africa into an air pollution crisis, and contribute heavily to the deepening climate emergency.

“It is clear that Eskom will do whatever it takes to bully South Africans into a future filled with toxic air and water scarcity. It will even go so far as to conveniently forget the terms of its nearly $4 billion loan from the World Bank to avoid reducing its deadly emissions. Eskom must not be allowed to delay the closure of its ancient fleet. It must not be given renewed licence to kill,” ended Sibisi.

Greenpeace Africa has called upon Minister Barbara Creecy [2] as well as the National Air Quality Officer [3] to enforce South Africa’s air quality legislation, whose roles are paramount in protecting South Africa’s air quality.

ENDS

Notes to the editor 

[1] According to recent Greenpeace research, Eskom’s almost complete reliance on coal leads to about 2100 premature deaths every year, and that Eskom’s application to postpone complying with the Minimum Emission Standards (MES) would cause an additional 16 000 premature deaths over the remaining life of Eskom’s coal fleet.

[2] Minister Creecy recently gazetted the doubling of South Africa’s Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) emissions limits, just at the start of the country’s COVID-19 lockdown.

[3] Dr Khumalo recently made an appearance on SAFM to answer questions about the doubling of the SO2 limits. Greenpeace Africa’s response can be read here

Contact details 
Chris Vlavianos, Communications Officer: Greenpeace Africa, 0798837036, [email protected]