Johannesburg, 5 September, 2019 — Responding to statements made to the media by Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer, Jan Oberholzer, where he warned that blackouts might be an outcome of complying with air quality legislation, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager, Melita Steele has said:

“Eskom’s Chief Operating Officer is in one breath admitting that the utility is not doing what it needs to do to meet weak air quality standards and protect human life, and in the next, blackmailing us all with more loadshedding should Eskom actually take steps to comply. 

This choice is a false one. We cannot be given a so-called choice between loadshedding or toxic air and impending death when clean energy options exist, are the cheapest source of electricity, and are ready to go. Eskom must either comply, or close its coal-fired power stations more quickly than planned. 

Renewable energy is more than able to quickly fill the gap, but we have no time to waste, and must begin to urgently scale up our investments in renewable energy and finalise social plans for the closure of the coal-fired power stations as part of the Just Transition” ended Steele.

 

Contact details:

Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Africa, msteele@greenpeace.org / 0725608703