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NUM in the Highveld Region unhappy with the decommissioning of the Komati power station

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NUM in the Highveld Region unhappy with the decommissioning of the Komati power station

NUM in the Highveld Region unhappy with the decommissioning of the Komati power station

Press Statement, 12 July 2023

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the Highveld Region is deeply disappointed by the posture taken by both Government and ESKOM when it comes to the decommissioning of Komati Power Station in Mpumalanga, this process has led into abject poverty in the Nkangala District and Mpumalanga as a whole.

"The residents of Steve Tshwete and Emalahleni municipality relied heavily on this Power Station for their survival, as we know that the level of unemployment is high the unilateral decommissioned of Komati perpetuated the situation on inequality, unemployment and poverty," said Thapelo Malekutu, NUM Highveld Deputy Regional Secretary.

"The decommissioning does not address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, in fact the decommissioning is in paradox with the intention of addressing triple challenges," Malekutu added. 

During the Komati visit by ESKOM and Government empty promises were promised, for an example the intention to train people who are affected by the closure of this Power Station, the NUM in Highveld Region cautioned government not to be dictated by these capitalists multinational banks, the likes of the World Bank and IMF.

Residents are currently sleeping with empty stomachs because of recklessness by the Government, the study was supposed to be conducted and training centres established before closing down Komati Power Station.

In the midst of this confusion and recklessness, the NUM in Highveld Region want to applaud Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe who remained sober because he understood the plight of our people, Minister Mantashe understood that closing of Komati Power Station is tantamount into creating abject poverty for Africans,in particular the marginalized and the downtrodden. 

It is crucial to recognize that the Minister, having risen through the ranks as a worker leader and the General Secretary of the progressive union, has not forgotten his roots. He intimately understands the hidden agenda of European investors, who seek to exploit our resources for their own benefit, leaving our province and its people to bear the brunt of the consequences. History will absolve Gwede Mantashe. The NUM is with Gwede Mantashe all the way.We will never capitulate in supporting him.

The European investors show no concern for the devastating job losses that our province will suffer as a result of their self-serving agenda. It is disheartening to witness how Africa's contributions to carbon capture remain minimal, while the very countries responsible for creating the problem of global warming now attempt to lend us money to resolve it. The urgent need of our country lies in the maintenance of our power stations and investments in carbon capture technology, not in succumbing to the whims of foreign entities.

We commend the recent decision of the Swedish Parliament to reverse its commitment to achieving 100% green energy by 2045. This decision is a clear acknowledgement that wind and solar power, upon which the European investors heavily rely, are not reliable sources of energy. While European countries increase their export volumes, they actively discourage us from utilizing our coal resources, which is an unfair double standard. We firmly believe that the Minister's refusal to sign the green energy memorandum is the first step in the right direction.

As the NUM, we stand firmly behind the Minister and pledge our unwavering support. We will closely monitor any attempts to victimize him for his courageous stance. It is essential for the government to redirect its focus towards fixing our existing coal-fired power stations, which have the capacity to provide reliable and affordable energy to our nation.

Our province deserves sustainable development that takes into account the needs of its people and protects their livelihoods. We implore the government to prioritize the well-being of our province and its citizens by investing in the maintenance of our power stations and the advancement of carbon capture technology.

For more detailed information, please contact:

Thapelo Malekutu, NUM Highveld Regional Deputy Regional Secretary 063 601 9005

Malekutu Bizzah Motubatse, NUM Highveld Regional Chairperson, 082 264 6533.

The National Union of Mineworkers
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About Us
The National Union of Mineworkers was founded in 1982.

Its birth was facilitated by comrades Cyril Ramaphosa who rose to be its first General Secretary, James Motlatsi who turned to be its first President, and Elijah Barayi who became its Vice President and later the President of Cosatu in 1985 when the federation was formed. porn