Nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Greenpeace has staged a demonstration dumping five tons of coal on the doorstep of power utility Eskom’s head office, Megawatt Park, in Johannesburg.
The NGO demanded that Eskom “clean up its act” and stop the construction of the Kusile coal-fired power station near Delmas in Mpumalanga.
“Eskom should end its addiction to coal and shift massive investments to large-scale renewable energy projects,” said the organisation.
Eskom spokesperson Hillary Joffe accepted a letter from Greenpeace, which detailed the reasons for the protest.
“Instead of locking South Africa into a dirty energy future by investing in Kusile, Eskom should be investing in people and green jobs. To date, Eskom’s investments in renewable energy are limited to tiny projects of 100 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar. This illustrates Eskom’s lack of commitment to a sustainable future for South Africa,” said Greenpeace Africa climate and energy campaigner Melita Steele.
Greenpeace Africa recently released a report entitled ‘The Advanced Energy [R]evolution’, which it said proved that it was not necessary to build Kusile.
“Instead, South Africa should move straight to a future powered by clean, safe and renewable sources of energy. By 2030, 50% of South Africa’s electricity should come from renewables – not only would this help in averting catastrophic climate change, but it could also create 150 000 direct jobs over the next 20 years,” added the NGO.
“Greenpeace has tried repeatedly to engage with Eskom about its addiction to coal and nuclear energy. Eskom has however not shown any intention of changing its tune,” said Steele.
She urged Eskom to “lead the way in a just transition away from coal towards a clean and green future”.
Greenpeace activists gathered outside Megawatt Park at dawn, and dumped five tons of coal from mini coal-hauling trucks, in the utility’s driveway.
Police arrived on the scene soon after.