renewable energy

The National Union of Mineworkers welcomes and appreciates the ruling made by the Pretoria high court to stop the signing of 27 IPPs power purchase agreements by the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe.

A National Union of Mineworkers statement reads:

"We cannot allow him to perpetuate the stealing of money from the SOEs. The National Union of Mineworkers condemns in the strongest terms the use of political office for personal wealth accumulation directly or indirectly.

"Last year we embarked on the fight against the Independent Power Producers (IPP) in line with our objectives of protecting jobs in the country.

"On 29 of March 2017, National Union of Mineworkers challenged the government to review the implementation of the IPPs with success.

"The court action initiated by the two organizations is in line with our objectives. The tweet made by the Minister of Energy on 12 of March 2018 is a sign that he has lost class consciousness; it is an indication that he is captured by the capitalist forces.

"We view this capitalist IPPs deal as a backdoor privatization of Eskom. The plan is to privatize 42% of Eskom by 2030 masquerading as the implementation of clean energy.

"The National Union of Mineworkers and COSATU successfully fought against the privatization of Eskom before, we are ready to fight it even now. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) if implemented, will compel Eskom to buy electricity at a higher price while Eskom can produce electricity at a cheaper price.

"The proposed agreements are nothing but daylight robbery. This will cause high scale job losses in the energy, mining, transport and all other sectors in the supply chain.

"President of the ANC, and the country, Cyril Ramaphosa announced in Davos that the government will continue with the implementation of IPPs. The National Union of Mineworkers does not agree with the implementation of IPPs at the expense of workers.

"If the ANC led government and Eskom are going to continue with this madness, we will be pushed to a total shutdown. We are going to mobilize all our members and society to revolt against this planned madness. We will also embark on legal court action to make sure that this madness does not continue.

"The most painful thing is that the renewable energy produced by IPPs 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.

"We must defend these jobs. If the IPPs have got their own energy, we are not against renewable energy, but we are saying that anyone who has energy must compete with Eskom. Eskom cannot be used to promote people who want to destroy jobs."