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2 April 2020, Johannesburg — This morning, South Africa’s National Air Quality Officer (NAQO), Dr Thuli Khumalo, appeared on SAFM to discuss the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries’ last-minute announcement of the doubling of South Africa’s Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) emissions limits[1]. In response, Bukelwa Nzimande, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa, has said:

“Dr Khumalo’s comments on SAFM this morning are a further indication that government’s loyalties lie with polluters, not the people of South Africa. To crassly say that, in playing the long-game on curbing air pollution, South Africa will win some and lose some, shows that Dr Khumalo is captured by an exploitative system that places its own interests over people’s health and lives. Greenpeace Africa expresses its disgust in these comments.

“The only winners here are the polluters, while the people of South Africa are left to choke – a reality that does not seem to register with those in power despite mountains of evidence that a limit of 1 000mg/Nm3 is insufficient to protect the health of South Africans. 

“Steamrolling the amendment when the SO2 Technical Panel has not finished its work – and in the midst of a global pandemic when clean air could not be more important – shows that the Department never took the panel seriously and is not committed to its mandate of protecting South Africans from ruthless polluters,” ended Nzimande.

Notes to the editor:
[1] Greenpeace Africa’s response to this news can be found here.

Contact details:

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