Coal Transporters Forum deputy chairperson Josiah Mlangeni addressing a media briefing following his organisation's court action against Eskom and the government. Picture: ANA

In The News South Africa

Coal transporters approach court to block renewable energy contracts

TSHWANE – The Coal Transporters Forum (CTF) has approached the high court, seeking an interdict to bar Eskom from entering into contracts with renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) as envisaged by government.

At a press briefing in Pretoria on Thursday, CTF spokesperson Mary Phadi however refused to give further details of the court processes, insisting the matter is sub judice at this stage.

“We have sought legal advice, as a preventative measure to avoid surprises. While we are in the process of engaging, on the other hand Eskom is signing these IPPs. We therefore filed with the high court against Eskom, [the] departments of public enterprises, energy and treasury seeking a review of implementation of these IPPs,” said Phadi.

“Due to the matter being sub judicare, we cannot elaborate further on the said [court] application or action.”

Earlier this month, hundreds of haulage truck drivers brought traffic in and around Pretoria to a standstill as they demonstrated against Eskom’s plans to partner with IPPs. The protest was organised by CTF.

The forum argues that the switch to the renewable energy will drastic effects particularly job losses in the vast sectors linked to coal mining and transportation.

“The introduction of the IPPs seems to be contradicting government’s transformation objectives as the IPPs being introduced are not even transforming. The funding that is setting up these entities is sourced locally to fund the foreign companies. CTF was not consulted on the programme, we only heard the news on TV during the State of the Nation Address,” said Phadi.

“This will affect the whole coal value chain. The introduction of IPPs will also disrupt the entire value chain of the people that are working at the mines. How does government invest R200 billion into foreign-owned companies at the expense of South Africans.”

Phadi said following their Pretoria protest, the coal transporters have received feedback from the presidency directing the CTF to liaise with an official at the department of energy.

CTF deputy chairperson Josiah Mlangeni said it must be noted that his organisation was not against renewable energy per se, but was up in arms against the impending massive job losses that could ensue if the IPPs programme goes full throttle.

“It has to be correctly contextualised that we are not actually against green energy. However, there was no consultation in as far as this green energy is concerned. We cannot support the loss of jobs in the name of green energy. It’s a matter that we need to engage on because we would have participated in … trying to find out who exactly is supporting the green energy at the expense of jobs,” said Mlangeni.

President Jacob Zuma announced in his State of the Nation Address that the Renewable Independent Power Producers Programme was on track and that Eskom would soon contract IPPs to that effect.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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