Johannesburg, 3 April 2019 — At today’s Eskom Electricity Supply press briefing, Eskom Board Chair Jabu Mabuza stated that, after analysis, the construction of Medupi and Kusile will be completed and that “there is no answer for the gap in energy that not completing Medupi and Kusile will create.” In response, Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Political Advisor has said:
“Eskom has completely dropped the ball, and backed away from a golden opportunity to avoid a coal-induced coma by deciding to complete construction on the failing mega coal-fired power station Kusile today. It is baffling that Eskom still stands so firmly behind deadly, unreliable coal, even when offered an escape route. The coal-fired power station has not been constructed properly, and Eskom plans to simply continue throwing money into a bottomless pit in the hope that they can ‘fix’ the design problems.
“Renewable energy projects in South Africa have proven that they can deliver on time and on budget; renewable energy is the answer for any gaps that not completing Kusile may create. Construction at the plant is already heavily-delayed and over-budget. If Eskom had stepped away from Kusile today, the government could easily fast-track public renewable energy investments, and remove all existing barriers, which would create a completely different playing field.
“It would be much easier for the South African public to fully support a utility that is accountable and transparent, is a leader in renewable energy and does not condemn future generations to climate chaos because of its unrelenting addiction to coal.
“Rooftop solar PV is a no-brainer to help meet our electricity needs. Instead, South Africans are doomed to half a century of massively polluted air, soaring electricity tariffs and an unreliable electricity supply, if Eskom gets it way. We call on the Minister of Public Enterprises to engage further with Eskom on cancelling the completion of Kusile and to provide the conditions for Eskom to begin participating in the renewable energy revolution.”
Chris Vlavianos, Communications Officer – Greenpeace Africa, [email protected], 079 883 7036