Court blocks 56 billion rand in South Africa renewable projects

Court blocks 56 billion rand in South Africa renewable projects

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Transform RSA filed court papers preventing the signing, which was scheduled for Tuesday in the wake of a statement from the energy minister last week.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says a new date for the signing of 27 renewable energy projects will be announced following a court decision later this month. "The energy minister was forced to give an undertaking in court that he would not sign the IPP agreements on Tuesday until the matter has been given a full hearing by the High Court", the union said.

Radebe said that the postponement was agreed to "in the spirit of constitutionalism" but he maintained that the coal-powered energy sector was a diminishing source of power and that the new renewable power providers were a convenient means of upskilling workers now in the coal powered sector.

Khambule said contrary to Numsa's argument that renewable energy would lead to job losses in the energy sector, renewable energy is actually creating new job opportunities. Below are some of the reactions expressed on Twitter.

Numsa said it joined the court application with Transform RSA in order to protect the livelihoods of thousands of workers and their families. Electricity prices will skyrocket because of the IPP roll out; while at the same time that Value-Added Tax and the fuel price are going up, workers are being paid slave wages of R20 per hour and less. Despite the court being unable to raise a legal reason why the contracts could not be signed on 13 March, "the signing will however be postponed until 27 March 2018 when the matter is finally disposed of in Court".


In a study about the cost of new power generators in SA, the CSIR argues renewables such as solar PV and wind are a "mass manufacturing play". The oldest coal-fired power plants are fifty years old and have already exceeded their expected operational time.

NUMSA is not only trying to prevent the inevitable, but they are also trying to keep South Africa in bondage to expensive and polluting means of generating power.

Today was supposed to be the day South Africa's REIPPPP renewable energy programme got back on track, finalising PPAs for projects that had been left in limbo despite being offered deals as long ago as 2015 under tender rounds 3.5 and 4, after a long-running dispute with state utility Eskom put the entire process on hold.

"The Renewable Energy Programme has empowered South Africans to own on average 48 percent of the equity in all of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) projects".

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