Signing of IPPs halted by urgent interdict

Signing of IPPs halted by urgent interdict

Two stakeholders in the mining industry have obtained an interdict in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday night, preventing the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, from signing a contract between Eskom and renewable energy producers.

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The High Court granted the interdict to the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Transform RSA, hours before the 27 contracts were to be signed on Tuesday morning with Independent Power Producers. 

NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola believes the implementation of the IPP contracts will threaten the livelihoods of thousands of workers. 

"The signing of the IPP means that Eskom will require less coal-fired electricity. This is likely to lead to the closure of the coal fired power plants and the impact will be that at least 30 000 working class families will suffer because of job losses."

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It comes a week after the newly appointed Energy Minister said the projects will create much-needed jobs.

Radebe said the IPP projects will create 61 600 full time jobs and add 2305 megawatts of electricity to the grid.

But NUMSA has rejected the findings.

"The ANC government clearly wants to make the working class and the poor suffer even more than they do now. Electricity prices will skyrocket because of the IPP roll out," says Hlubi-Majola.

Eskom and government will have to wait to sign the agreements until a full hearing takes place on March 27.

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