In a press release early on Tuesday morning NUMSA said it obtained an urgent court interdict at the North Gauteng High Court to prevent Eskom from concluding the outstanding renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) products, including the power purchase agreements.
NUMSA claimed that, in a late night application, the High Court in Pretoria ordered Energy Minister Jeff Radebe to give an undertaking not to sign agreements with the independent power producers on Tuesday or until a full hearing in court.
The Department of Energy denies that any interdict was issued, but says instead that it was a decision by the DoE to hold off until the 27th of March hearing has been concluded. Either way, no agreements were signed today, and the programmes continue to languish in limbo.
In its statement, NUMSA says it “believes that the signing of these contracts would be detrimental for the working class of Mpumalanga and the country as a whole. The signing of the IPP means that Eskom will require less coal-fired electricity.”
“This is likely to lead to the closure of the coal-fired power plants and the impact will be that at least 30 000 working class families will suffer because of job losses”. Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi says this is a great victory.
The Independent Power Producer sector is widely expected to create more than 60 000 new jobs over the next two to three years, and is expected to unlock more than R56-Billion in investment.
The rule of law
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has given an undertaking that he will not sign IPP agreements, including the power purchase agreements, until the return hearing on March 27, despite the absence of an interdict, “in the spirit of constitutionalism and the rule of law” .