Radebe's R56 Billion Renewable Energy Deal On Hold After Court Action

Unrenewable Investment       South Africa's clean energy project asset financing falls              Source BNEF

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Transform RSA filed court papers preventing the signing, which was scheduled for Tuesday in the wake of a statement from the energy minister last week.

Numsa has been fighting for a "just transition", saying power purchase agreements between the IPPs and Eskom would result in a jobs bloodbath in the coal industry, with 30,000 workers set to lose employment if it was implemented.

The department's acting deputy director-general, Thabang Audat, who spoke to Daily Maverick after Monday's late-night application in the Pretoria High Court that sought to prevent Eskom signing agreements with the power producers, believed there was public misunderstanding about the independent power producers' programme.

The Ramaphosa government however announced that it will proceed with the signing as well as the other renewable projects and the Eskom cap would not apply.

Court action by a South African trade union has blocked the signing of 2.2GW of renewables contracts, dashing hopes that today would mark the end of a years-long saga that has battered confidence in the country's clean energy programme.

"The signing of the IPP means that Eskom will require less coal-fired electricity".

"All stakeholders should be afforded an opportunity to engage with Eskom, Nersa and the minister on these issues", the union and Transform RSA, a civil-society group, said in the application.

"The IPP roll-out will raise the cost of electricity dramatically, because IPP's cost much more than coal-fired electricity", Numsa said.

The developments have been received differently by the experts involved in the energy sector. Electricity prices will skyrocket because of the IPP roll out; while at the same time that Value-Added Tax and the fuel price are going up, workers are being paid slave wages of R20 per hour and less.

After arguments were concluded, the court refused to grant an interim interdict against Eskom or the Minister but instead postponed the matter to 27 March 2018, with the responding parties to file their answering papers by 20 March 2018 and the applicants' parties to file their replying papers by 22 March 2018.

The utility favored a nuclear-build program at the time and maintained a standoff on what was once a successful program by the Department of Energy to diversify South Africa's power mix and bring in billions in foreign investment.

Coal ash disposals in South Africa.

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