It was announced yesterday that Eskom’s funding plan to 2017 had been approved. The utility company will spend R201.6 billion over the coming period, with R65 billlion budgeted for this year. Part of the funding plan includes a R35 billion increase in the utility’s domestic borrowing programme. This is to fund the construction of the mega coal-fired power stations, Medupi and Kusile.
In approving this increase, our government has again shown it is prepared to support Eskom’s massive new investments in coal. By building Medupi and Kusile (two mega coal-fired power stations), Eskom is pushing the country closer to a water crisis and further away from a sustainable future. While Eskom gets away with the escalating costs of building new coal-fired power stations, in the end South Africans will be the ones paying the bill. Whether in the form of rapidly rising electricity prices, or the impending water crisis, Eskom’s coal addiction will cost us dearly.
Instead of continuing to invest in coal power, our money should clearly be going towards reliable renewable energy. Doing so would not only create thousands more jobs than Eskom’s current plan envisages, but it would also help us tackle climate change, and safeguard South Africa’s precious water reserves.
Take Action: If you haven’t yet, tell our government to ditch coal and rather use the sun and wind more.
Originally published on allafrica.com.