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NUM Highveld Region response on the reckless statement made by Greenpeace Africa

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NUM Highveld Region response on the reckless statement made by Greenpeace Africa

Press statement, 05 November 2018


NUM Highveld Region response on the reckless statement made by Greenpeace Africa


The National Union of Mineworkers  (NUM) in Highveld has noted with utter disgust a reckless statement made by Greenpeace Africa. Greenpeace Africa analysis has identified Mpumalanga as the world’s largest air pollution hotspot across six continents.

The reckless and impetuous statement is a clear campaign by Greenpeace Africa that the government should close Power Stations and Coal Mines in Mpumalanga.

We are not bothered by the statement made by Greenpeace Africa as the NUM, Greenpeace does not have the interest of poor people and the workers who are going to be affected by the closing down of the 12 power stations and coal mines in Mpumalanga.

"If the power stations and coal mines are closed in Mpumalanga several towns including Witbank will become ghost towns. Recent statistics showed that the percentage of the unemployed people is going high yet you have the so-called Greenpeace Africa that is suggesting that government must discontinue and abandon the completion of Kusile Unit 5 and 6," said Tshilidzi Mathavha, NUM Highveld Regional Secretary.

"If the power stations and mines are shut down, the economy of our country will collapse and the people will be left in darkness.  If the IRP 2018 be implemented the cost of electricity will go high and only Greenpeace and the rich people will afford to buy electricity while poor people who the majority are Africans will be unable to afford electricity," Mathavha added.

The NUM is calling for Greenpeace to stop being narrow and myopic but rather focus on how emissions can be reduced. The NUM also support the extension requested by Eskom to deal with issues of emissions in Mpumalanga. The truth of the matter is that Greenpeace Africa is advancing the interest of rich people. Greenpeace Africa does not necessarily care about the poor of the poorest.

The NUM is aware that Greenpeace Africa is in support of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to be implemented by Eskom. Greenpeace Africa is protecting the IPPs investors and does not care about the workers. The NUM is not against renewable energy or IPPs. We are extremely worried about the thousands of jobs that are going to be destroyed in Mpumalanga. The most painful thing is that the renewable energy produced by the Independent Power Producers (IPP's) is going to be sold through Eskom. We are saying and we have said that Eskom is a government entity, if the IPPs  have got power to generate, let them stand alone and compete with Eskom. The NUM is going to defend these jobs.

The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPPs) are milking ESKOM. ESKOM is buying Electricity from the REIPPs by R2.14 and sell it at 89 cents. It is also shocking that Eskom is spending R93 million daily to service the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of IPP's.  This arrangement is clearly unsustainable.  We demand that it must be scrapped.

The closing of power stations and mines cannot become a panacea to our county and economy.

The NUM has resolved to embark on a march to Union Buildings in Pretoria  on the 17th of November 2018. The NUM will be marching against IPPs and retrenchments at Eskom.

For more information, please contact:

Tshilidzi Mathavha: NUM Highveld Regional Secretary: 066 305 7424.
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257.



The National Union of Mineworkers

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