COSATU welcomes progress in bringing units at Eskom’s Kusile Power Station back online

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the progress in bringing units at Eskom Kusile Power Station back online.  Unit 3 has been returned to service two months ahead of schedule bringing an additional 800MW back to the grid.  It is hoped that by December, a further 3 units will come back to service at Kusile, bringing 2400MW back to the grid.  This will give significant breathing space to the nation and hopefully signal that we are turning the corner in overcoming the loadshedding crisis that has bled the economy. 

Kusile is able to return units back to the grid 7 months earlier after the collapse of its chimney stacks, due to the minimum emission standards exemptions for the 3 Kusile stacks for 18 months.  In normal times this would not be entertained.  However, given the loadshedding crisis crippling the economy, it was a necessary and correct one as it will bring 2400MW back to the grid a combined 13 months earlier and spare an already battered economy 2 levels of loadshedding.

The temporary removal of the minimum emissions standards for 3 of Kusile’s stacks will result in additional pollution for the neighbouring communities.  It is critical that Eskom with the support of the Department for Environmental Affairs, ensures that all necessary measures to minimise exposure, protect and monitor workers and neighbouring communities are in place.  Equally we need to begin moving towards installing such capacity at Eskom’s other power stations too so that we begin to reduce our carbon footprint and levels of pollution.

It is key that government work with and support Eskom and hold it accountable for these measures and their requested exemption timeframes.  Eskom has a less than stellar record in sticking to timeframes and will need to be closely monitored to ensure they adhere to these.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell:082 785 0687