Eskom is trying to circumvent South Africa’s air quality legislation for the fifth time, says an environmental watchdog.
He is now re-applying to the Department of Environmental Affairs, Timothy Lloyd, attorney for the Center for Environmental Rights (CER), said Tuesday.
Eskom claims the Medupi power station should be temporarily released due to “design challenges”.
He says five of his other coal-fired power stations are old and will be switched off in ten years. He asks that the requirements for those power stations be relaxed.
Lloyd says the CER has compiled bulky documents on reasons why Eskom should not be allowed to postpone any further delay at Medupi or any of its other power stations.
Air quality control legislation came into force on April 1, 2014. At the time, Eskom itself acknowledged that the Department of Environmental Affairs had postponed the idea that it would get its business in order by April 2020.
In 2010 and 2011, Eskom received a $ 3.75 billion loan (now about R56 billion) from the World Bank to build the Medupi power station. One of the conditions for the loan was that air filters should be installed to collect sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) before it enters the atmosphere. These filters are not yet installed.
Eskom also violates the Constitution, which provides every citizen with the right to a clean and healthy environment, Lloyd said.
Eskom also asks that Matimba, another power station in the Waterberg, be exempted from legislation.
The CER says in its statement that Eskom, the country’s largest polluter, is calling for a postponement to comply with legislation.