Cosatu adds to renewable energy woes
Cosatu has called for Eskom not to sign any new renewable energy agreements following the premature closure and phasing out of some coal mines, which the trade union federation estimates will result in 6 000 jobs lost.
Cosatu has submitted a section 77 notice to the National Economic Development and Labour Council. If the parties cannot come to agreement in this forum, the federation could initiate a protest against the renewables programme.
“The federation agrees that the economy should reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and increase the use of energy from water, sunlight and wind,” it said in a statement when it submitted the application. “However, the transition to [a] low carbon economy must be just and must address who owns and controls these sources of energy and how local production and jobs will be created.”
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla expressed concern that the department of energy appeared to be going ahead again with the renewables programme. But he said Cosatu would first focus on protests against corruption and state capture before deciding on how to proceed over renewables.
This week, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa is holding the first hearing of an investigation into the stalled renewables programme. Nersa said Eskom and the South African Wind Energy Association made submissions to it on Thursday last week.
It has been criticised because the inquiry has taken months to get going, and now the regulator says the hearings will be closed to the public. —
“If I were one of these IPPs, especially the concentrated solar power guys, I would sue”