Eco activists detained

2012-10-23 12:36
Police detained seven environmental activists protesting at Eskom's Megawatt Park headquarters. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Police detained seven environmental activists protesting at Eskom's Megawatt Park headquarters. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – Police detained seven environmental activists protesting at Eskom's Megawatt Park headquarters, in northern Johannesburg, on Tuesday, Greenpeace said.

"Seven of our activists have been forcibly removed," said Greenpeace spokesperson Fiona Musana.

The activists had chained themselves to the front entrance of Megawatt Park, to protest Eskom's continued reliance on coal and the parastatal's application to again raise electricity tariffs.

Police cut their chains, handcuffed them, and took them to the Sandton police station, said Musana.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

At dawn, protesters from Greenpeace, groundWork and Earthlife Africa unfurled a banner across the front entrance of Megawatt Park.

Protest

"Eskom is under new management," the banner announced.

At the same time, activists chained themselves to the front entrance.

"Activists are asking to be invited into the headquarters as new management in order to bring about changes South Africans need," Greenpeace said in a statement on Tuesday.

Eskom said it had the same objectives as the activists, and did not object to peaceful protest.

However, spokesperson Hilary Joffe said it did have a concern about safety.

"We do engage with NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and I think we all have the same objectives as a country. We want to secure the supply of electricity, give access to energy for all, and [provide] cleaner electricity. The debate is about how we get there."

On Monday, Eskom put forward an application for a 16% tariff hike every year for the next five years.

Cost

Of this, 3% would go toward the cost of renewable energy produced by independent companies.

Eskom's average generation cost over this period was only 30 cents a kilowatt hour, compared to around R2 a kWh for renewable energy.

"The point to be made is that the cost of energy from independent power producers is up to 10 times Eskom's current cost of generation," said Joffe.

As a result, South Africans needed to ask how quickly renewable energy could, and should, be brought into the energy mix, she said.

Greenpeace said Bobby Peek, the director of clean air activist group groundWork, was its "new Eskom CEO"; that Makoma Lekalakala from Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, was its "new Eskom stakeholder engagement director"; and that Greenpeace activist Melita Steele was its "new Eskom spokesperson".

The "new management" chained themselves to a table outside the building.

Lekalakala said the action was prompted, in part, by Eskom's decision to seek the increase in electricity tariffs, which was announced on Monday.

Renewable energy

Another factor had been a perceived lack of interest in renewable energy.

"There has been an outcry from the public for Eskom to massively invest in renewable energy. They have ignored this, and continued in their addiction to coal," she said.

Greenpeace and the other organisations promised to listen to the people and phase out coal generation in favour of renewable energy. Eskom should include them as part of the management team, said Lekalakala.

"We are also making a statement by occupying this space. Eskom belongs to the people, it doesn't belong to corporates."

Peek said the health of communities was affected by toxic by-products from coal, and as a result suffered from chronic respiratory diseases.

Steele condemned Eskom's water usage as a result of its reliance on coal.

"There are effective alternatives to coal, but there is no substitute for water," she said.

Eskom used 10 000 litres of water a second, according to Greenpeace.
- SAPA
Read more on:    greenpeace  |  eskom  |  renewable energy  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.