Govt’s Proposed Electricity Mix Criticised

The government’s integrated resource plan (IRP) for this year has been heavily criticised, largely by civil society, which say it would be disastrous for the economy and the environment.

A number of NGOs and community groups, which participated in the Department of Energy public hearings recently, called on the state to scrap the plan and to start the process again.

An Uncertain Future: Law Enforcement, National Security and Climate Change

Climate change has the potential to cause radical changes in lifestyle and mass migration as people seek out ever-diminishing resources. The tensions that will accompany such shifts could be profound as communities react to large influxes of newcomers and people struggle to adapt to ever more severe weather events. This in turn could place an ever-increasing burden on national security forces as they seek to maintain stability domestically and with bordering nations.

World Bank Approves Loan to Eskom

The World Bank has approved the granting of a R27 billion loan that will help the state power utility Eskom to build its Medupi Power Station in Limpopo.

In a press statement, the World Bank says its board of executive directors had approved the loan ‘to help South Africa achieve a reliable electricity supply while also financing some of the biggest solar and wind power plants in the developing world’.

The bank further says that the loan is its first major lending engagement with South Africa since the fall of apartheid 16 years ago.

World Bank's Climate and Governance Disaster

Press Release

8 April 2010

Both Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa are disappointed with the World Bank's decision to go ahead with its loan to Eskom. By making this decision, the World Bank has shown, quite clearly, that it has no regard for the state of the world's climate and environment, the future of South Africa, and economic principles of transparency and corruption. The World Bank is not a responsible lender.

SA Commemorates the Earth Hour

On Saturday night, a global community supported Earth Hour and switched off lights for 60 minutes to mark the importance of creating awareness about electricity consumption and carbon emissions.

The Department of Environmental Affairs marked the event by switching off the lights at its Pretoria office.

The department spokesperson, Albi Modise, says to ensure the staff’s participation, it hosted, an Earth Hour Information Session for staff members to heighten awareness and generate interest internally.

NGOs Criticise World Bank Loan to Eskom

The World Bank has defended its proposed R29 billion loan to Eskom amid growing criticism from environmental groups and NGOs.

The NGOs, Climate Justice Now, groundWork and the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, have criticised the loan, supported by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and the South African Council of Churches.

They say if it is approved, the poor will bear the burden of Eskom debt.

Statement from South Africa and CSOs on Eskom’s Proposed US$3.75 Billion World Bank Loan

Press Release

12 February 2010

Should the World Bank grant a US$3.75 billion (R28.125 bn) loan to Eskom when the Bank Board meets on March 24? No. We South African and African organisations which for years have advocated social and environmental justice here and abroad, oppose Eskom’s proposed Bank loan – and indeed its new construction programme more generally, for several reasons.

Integrity of NERSA Hearings Questioned

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in South Africa has questioned the integrity of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (NERSA) public hearings into Eskom's proposed tariff hike.

The WWF says it also questions the intentions behind the energy ministry's publication of a purported Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on the last day of 2009.

South Africa Joins IRENA

South Africa has become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which aims to promote the use of renewable energy worldwide.

The energy department says Minister Dipuo Peters signed the necessary paperwork in Abu Dhabi to become a member of the agency.

In a press statement, Peters states that, "[This] will enable us to work with other countries to accelerate the introduction of renewable energy and to confront our vexing energy challenges.”


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