Eskom says it can clear the air ... but it's you who'll pay

12 July 2018 - 07:00 By Matthew Savides
Electricity pylons at an Eskom power station near Sasolburg
Electricity pylons at an Eskom power station near Sasolburg
Image: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Power utility Eskom has said that it could meet proposed, significantly stricter pollution emissions standards, but that the South African public will have to, literally, pay for it – in cold hard cash and millions of litres of water.

This comes after the Department of Environmental Affairs gazetted proposed changes to key pollution legislation – changes that will dramatically impact by when industries, including but not exclusively Eskom, will have to meet emission targets.

The proposals, published on May 25, state that, among other things, companies will only be allowed to postpone compliance once, and for a five-year period – as opposed to the rolling postponements they are currently allowed. This means that all plants will have to be compliant by 2025 at the latest.

Companies will also be allowed to apply for a permanent exemption from compliance, but only if they can show that the facility will be shut down by 2030.

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