NUM march on the cards with demand for Minister Brown to step down

NUM march on the cards with demand for Minister Brown to step down

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says its members will be marching across the country to protest against the signing of the inclusion of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to the national grid.

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Photo: Facebook

The union says a date for the march will be decided on soon. 


NUM's David Sipunzi says they are extremely saddened that the Eskom Board has taken a decision to shut down five power stations without consulting the union as a stakeholder. 


The power stations to be shut down are Hendrina, Kriel, Komati, Grootvlei and Camden. 


"The NUM has noted that the decision is already taken without our involvement to partly privatise Eskom. We view the entrance or the inclusion of IPPs to the energy sphere as privatisation brought to Eskom through the back door. Our country is under serious attack by the neo-liberal agenda that seeks to undermine the gains of our liberation since 1994. The NUM always said it cannot be about us without us," says Sipunzi.


Siphunzi says they are calling for Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to step down.


"She has failed to meet the NUM and other unions several times when she was invited," says Sipunzi.

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According to the union, green energy is not as cheap as it is portrayed to be, despite their support of green energy.


"Green energy is not even reliable. It doesn't have the capacity to replace the current base load as currently subjectively portrayed. The sun doesn't shine every day and also the wind doesn't blow every day. We have a problem with the selective and subjective bias that opportunistically purports the renewable energy as the alpha and omega for South Africa whilst completely turning a blind eye to the realities that these renewables can't be used as base loads.  What is going to happen if the sun does not shine and also when the wind does not blow? We will definitely have a black out," says Sipunzi.


Sipunzi says the protest action will include mass action and educating the public on the real impact of the IPPs on the price of electricity.  


"The inclusion of IPPs means that Eskom must pay more for the commodity that we can produce for less price. If Eskom agrees, the long-term impact of this might result in Eskom being bankrupt and being sold to the highest bidder," says Sipunzi.

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