Eskom welcomes Greenpeace protest
Johannesburg - Eskom welcomed a protest by Greenpeace activists at its Kusile coal-fired power station on Monday, saying it too was committed to a cleaner energy future for South Africa.
"We have no issue with a peaceful protest as long as it stays peaceful and doesn't disrupt operations," spokesperson Hilary Joffe said.
"We too are committed to a cleaner energy future and support government's strategy to diversify the country's energy mix."
She said a group of about 20 activists demonstrated at the gates of the construction site in Emalahleni, in Mpumalanga, on Monday. They were not allowed onto the site.
Seven activists locked themselves to the front gates.
They were protesting over South Africa's reliance on coal for energy, which emits excessive greenhouse gases.
A recent Greenpeace report claims Kusile's external and hidden costs could be as high as R60bn a year.
Kusile is expected to add 4 800 megawatts to the power grid on completion in 2017. Medupi power station, being built in Lephalale, Limpopo, will add another 4 800 megawatts of coal energy.
Joffe said the power stations would have lower coal emissions than normal because of advanced technology that removed oxides of sulphur from exhaust flue gases.
She said Eskom was committed to cleaner energy through renewable energy projects focusing on solar and wind power.