Science

Signing of IPP contracts on hold

Signing of IPP contracts on hold

The court found that our application meets the standard for urgency and therefore granted us the interdict. "The energy minister was forced to give an undertaking in court that he would not sign the IPP agreements on Tuesday until the matter has been given a full hearing by the High Court". "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.

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.

Numsa and Transform RSA launched a late night High Court bid yesterday to urgently interdict Eskom from signing the 27 IPP contracts on Tuesday, 13 March.

The Unions argue that Eskom now has sufficient generation capacity and that additional renewables would only force coal plants offline, with the loss of jobs.

Numsa also claims the IPP rollout will cause a dramatic spike in the price of electricity because IPPs are more costly than coal-fired power plants.




But Numsa disagrees. "The ANC government clearly wants to make the working class and the poor suffer even more than they do now", Numsa said. The combination of all these factors will have dire consequences for the working class and the poor. The 27 projects include wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies. 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.

"In the absence of an interdict, and with the court having expressly informed the parties in court that it would not grant such an order, nothing prevented Eskom and IPPs from signing the agreements, as scheduled by me for 13 March 2018".

"This initiative will enable R56 billion of new investment in the economy over the next 2 to 3 years‚ which will immediately contribute to growth in the economy".

"Eskom was planning to sign these agreements despite the fact that a previous application‚ by the Coal Transporters Forum to interdict them from signing is still pending at the North Gauteng High Court".

"South Africa's renewable programme can contribute directly to the benefits associated with the necessary energy transition in South Africa and must be allowed to continue", says Martin.


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