energy

Eskom Breaks Environmental Laws - Report

Power supplier Eskom is breaking more environmental laws than any other state corporation, according to the latest National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report.

Released by Environment Minister, Edna Molewa, the report reveals that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) cannot, under current legislation, prosecute the utility in this regard.

The report further found that, "Eskom remains the organ of state with the highest rate of non-compliance with environmental legislation."
 

Greenpeace Complains to the Public Protector

Greenpeace Africa and the South African History Archives (SAHA) have lodged a formal complaint with both the Public Protector and South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) with regards to the second refusal by the Minister of Energy to publicly release the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review.

The review was compiled by the Department of Energy to assess South Africa's readiness to build nuclear power stations in the country, and was discussed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at a closed workshop last month.

Activists March Against Nuclear Power

Environmental activists have marched in cities around South Africa against the government’s nuclear expansion plans which they believe “threaten present and future generations”.
 
Members of Earthlife Africa, Greenpeace Africa, Justice and Peace and Ceasefire assembled in Pieter Roos Park in Parktown, Johannesburg and marched to Beyers Naude Square in the city centre.
 
The group aimed to raise concern about the cost of new projects, the safety of nuclear power and the lack of transparency and accountability in the nuclear sector.
 

PASASA Makes Way for HESASA

The Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa (PASASA) will close its doors in mid-2013 to make room for a new initiative, the Household Energy Safety Association of Southern Africa (HESASA).

PASASA was formed in 1996 by the South African Petroleum Industry (SAPIA) and has been funded mostly through the industry’s corporate social investment programme. Its primary role was to ensure the safe use of paraffin in poor households.

SADC Countries Urged to Rethink Dam Projects

A new study conducted by for the NGO, International Rivers, has found that the massive hydropower dams built on the Zambezi River, the largest river system in Southern Africa, not only supply power to major economies in the region but also help mitigate annual floods.

The organisation warns however, that as electricity demands grow and rising global temperatures affect rainfall patterns, the dams will be unable to meet energy needs or control floods.

Fracking Threat to Sustainable Development - TKAG

The Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) warns that hydraulic fracturing, better known as ‘fracking’, will swap a sustainable future for short-term benefits that will be experienced by a few people in the oil and gas industry, and not by South Africa as a whole.

TKAG chairperson, Jonathan Deal, points out that fracking will displace sustainable activities such as agriculture, meat production, and possibly pollute a very scarce water source.

A Comprehensive Strategy Is Needed for Household Energy Safety

South Africa (SA) lacks a comprehensive, integrated household energy strategy and policy, which could be one of the major indirect reasons inhibiting development and perpetuating poverty.

The country’s residential energy mix includes electricity, liquid petroleum gas, coal, paraffin, biomass and solar energy. However, policy and programmes to date have largely focused on electricity. This means that many households are still exposed to countless energy safety risks that are not being addressed.

Cabinet Approves SA-DRC Hydro Draft Treaty

Cabinet has approved the draft treaty between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on developing the Grand Inga Hydropower Project in the DRC.

Government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, says that the project has the potential to supply clean and cost effective hydroelectric power to meet the needs of the DRC and surrounding or nearby countries including South Africa.

Manyi further states that the project entails developing about 40 000 megawatts of hydropower on the Congo River in the DRC, which could be developed in several stand-alone phases.

Activists Get Ready for Fracking Fight

Anti-fracking campaigners are preparing for a legal wrangle with the government, as time ticks on towards the scheduled announcement of the Karoo fracking report, expected in August 2012.

The Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) has set up a legal team to re-focus its legal strategy in preparation for an all-out confrontation to prevent fracking in the Karoo.

The lobby group's chairperson, Jonathan Deal, says that Cabinet is expected to make a decision in August on whether to lift the existing moratorium and allow exploratory drilling.

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