Radebe: IPPs did not cause job losses in coal sector

Cape Town – Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are not the reason for job losses in the coal sector, said Energy Minister Jeff Radebe.

He was briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy on Tuesday where he spoke about the benefits of the signing of the 27 outstanding renewable IPPs recently.

Radebe said the IPPs would create 58 000 jobs in the communities where the projects are based and that young people would especially benefit from the programme.

However, unions have raised concerns that the IPPs would lead to almost 30 000 job losses in the coal sector.

“The 30 000 jobs lost because of the IPP renewables programme: that perception is wrong,” said Radebe. “The IPP has nothing to do with job losses in the coal sector. They were not established as a competition.”

He explained that renewables were established because it is “the right thing to do” to introduce renewables in SA. The country has international obligations to reduce carbon emissions. “The move towards renewables is the right thing to do,” he said.

Radebe added that the real reason for the job losses in the coal sector is that some of the mines had reached the end of their lives.

Radebe also put to rest the idea that IPPs are not adding energy to the national grid. "The notion that IPPs are not electricity to the national grid is not correct," he said. "They are generating electricity on the national grid as we speak," he said.

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